Olafur Eliassons Riverbed at Louisiana

When you sign up for a huge Olafur Eliasson show you have to be willing to go that extra mile - you know, perhaps turn the building upside down on its head or install wall to wall waterworks / fog machines / deepfreeze elements, or something of that nature. And wow, did they out-install themselves up at Louisiana this time. To such a degree, that you hardly recognize the part of the museum where his massive Riverbed installation is - well, installed.

Tons and tons of Icelandic stone is forming a naturalistic and sloping landscape, intersected by a small bubbling brook (hardly a river, but that's fair enough). To anyone with prior knowledge of these particular rooms, the whole setting is wonderfully confusing, and the place is almost irrecognizable. You see Louisianas delicate white brick walls and blonde wood - but otherwise the place is transformed. The experience is big, dirty, noisy, it smells of dust and wet cement, but the sound of the streaming water is underneath it all, as a little cheerful tune.  

We saw it in natural daylight - but I really wonder how it looks in the evening. Maybe I have to go check? Anyway, the filtered, dull light works well with the scenario. And it is anything but monochrome.

It's a fun exhibition to visit with children - and I recommend you put on old jeans and worn trainers. It's seriously dusty! You are forced to walk in really wobbly terrain, and bend and sometimes almost crawl in the dirt. As I have written before, I like it a lot when art and architecture relate. This is definitely one relation you can feel, hear and smell. Architecture is a very sophisticated art form, if you ask me (and yes, it is art) - but sometimes it takes a visual, conceptual artist to show us the energy of architectural space. Olafur Eliasson is so great at that.

As usual, there have been critics saying that the show isn't edgy or contemporary enough - but I don't think they realize just how discussion-provoking it is - to most people - to fill an elegant modern art temple, such as this, with filthy rubble, basically. And in such amounts! There is something there, that's for sure. Go climb it yourself, if you have the chance.

You can watch films about his work, as well - they look interesting, but we didn't see them - and you can see a room full of his conceptual / experimental models of this and that. They are great fun to study for an origami / papercrafting nut like me, but, for some unexplained reason, bathed in this sick yellow light. I wonder why?

In the end, you get to see my son and myself - and see the two very different modes in which we experienced the Rivedbed. Thanks for the gif-pics, Anne-Marie!

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