Artists: Ólafur Elíasson & Contemporary Art


[…] “Breathe now. Take a deep breath. Simply breathing can help us feel an awareness of where we are and what we are doing. A pause. Break. Caesura.” […]

LOVE LETTER from us

Ólafur Elíasson, Eric Ellingsen, Christina Werner

 Akademie X Lessons in art + Life

 

Discovering Ólafur

The first time I saw the artworks of Ólafur was by chance. I was looking for references for my final degree project and I found the piece of “Tree of codes“.

When I saw what they have created “a multimedia dance performance” I felt really excited. I think that, at that moment, I realised what I wanted to do all my life is work in projects related to art + technology. And, of course, at that point I started to look at all the pieces that Ólafur has created and the projects in which he has participated. And I fell in love.

I love the fact that at his artwork he works with the ideas of: light, colours, reflections, perception, illusions, interaction with the audience,  raise awareness of social issues (refugees, sustainable energy for everyone, etc. ).

 

Akademie X Lessons in art + life

It’s a book about a collection of contemporary artists that give their advice about art, how to be an artist, what they think about art… Basically, there are 36 artists and each one of them talk freely about art and how they live like an artist. The reason I decided to buy this book was because Elíasson is one of the tutors  (and the book stars with Marina Abramović, who is also an inspiration for me) and I found it a good way to get to know more contemporary artists.

So when the book arrived, I couldn’t resist to start with the 6 pages of Elíasson… It’s not a lot of content, but the way he presented his point of view about life, education, art and the way he works and teaches makes me think about different topics and ideas… And then I decided to create this post.

[…]”We believe in risking vulnerability and practising robust discomfort of uncertainty. A shared vulnerability is important. We believe in getting out of our comfort zone.”[…]

LOVE LETTER from us – Ólafur Elíasson, Eric Ellingsen, Christina Werner

 

Contemporary art – Opinion

After taking a quick look at the book, it came to my mind the thought about how contemporary art is perceived. To be honest, I don’t really know what people in general think about art and more specifically about contemporary art.

From my point of view, the two words that come to my mind when I hear “contemporary art” is “controversy” and “bullshit”. Before continuing with this topic, I want to make clear that this is only my point of view and I wanted to share what I think about it and the way that contemporary art inspires me.

I started to be more interested in exhibitions and art after the first time I visited the Guggenheim Bilbao  Museum. I visited two consecutive years and all the exhibitions blew my mind. Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Yoko Ono were my favorites.

And the first time I started to think about what is art? and where is the limit?  was with the artwork of Damien Hirst. Some years ago, I was at the Tate Modern (London) just visiting the free exhibitions. Suddenly it appears a little girl telling me if I wanted free tickets for the paid exhibition that was taking place that day. She and her family decided not to go. I picked the free tickets and after I entered the exhibition and saw the first piece I understood why they decided not to enter… In this video (Spanish version) they explain the first artwork that I saw at the museum from Hirst: “A Thousand Years” (I decided not to put an image, you can check the video if you feel curious about it).

I have to say that this is the exhibition that I’m never going to forget. It was at that moment when I understood how I perceived art and that art can bring something to my life. I’ve heard a lot that some pieces of art (and especially for contemporary art) are “bullshit”, that “my son could do that”, “I don’t understand it”, … But with this Hirst exhibition, where I remember being  completely shocked, I feel like art is a “place” for freedom where mostly all artists want to make people think about a topic or feel different emotions (good or bad) and I found this really powerful.

As Ólafur said at the Akademie X book ( […]”Breath now. Take a deep breath.” […]) I feel the pieces of contemporary art as a “place” or moment where I can take a breath, open my mind, feel where I am and try to discover what this piece of art can bring to my life.