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Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) puts the experience of viewers at the center of his art. Olafur Eliasson: In real life brings to our attention some of today’s most urgent issues through around 30 artworks created by the artista between 1990 and today: sculptures, photographs, paintings, and installations that play with reflections and shifting colors and challenge the way we navigate and perceive our environment. Through materials such as moss, water, glacial ice, fog, light, or reflective metals, Eliasson encourages viewers to reflect upon their understanding and perception of the physical world that surrounds them.

Eliasson’s art grows from an interest in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. Central to his artistic practice are his concern with nature, inspired by time spent in Iceland; his research into geometry; and his ongoing investigations into how we perceive, feel about, and shape the world around us. Studio Olafur Eliasson, his Berlin-based studio, is a space for work, but also for encounters and dialogues, that brings together a diverse team of skilled craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, programmers, art historians, and specialized technicians.

His practice extends beyond making artworks, exhibitions, and public interventions to include architectural projects. Convinced that art can have a strong impact on the world outside the museum, Eliasson has created solar lamps for off-grid communities, conceived artistic workshops for asylum seekers and refugees, created art installations to raise awareness of the climate emergency, and in September 2019, he was named Goodwill Ambassador for the UNDP. “Art,” Eliasson says, “is not the object but what the object does to the world.”

Exhibition organized by the Tate Modern in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Curators: Mark Godfrey and Lucía Agirre

Resources
Artist Talk
Right before the opening of his exhibition Olafur Eliasson: In real life, the Danish-Icelandic artist talked about his production and creative process, as well as the numerous multidisciplinary projects that he develops internationally.
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Audioguide
Olafur Eliasson: In real life
Installing the Exhibition
Discover some interesting details and the installation process of the exhibition Olafur Eliasson: In real life in this video.
In his Own Words: Olafur Eliasson
Learn more about one of the most relevant artist today through his own words. Olafur Eliasson in the first person at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Did you know that...?

Olafur Eliasson

Did you know that, in addition to producing works drawing on sensory experience, geometry, climate change, sustainability, research into light and environmental issues, Olafur Eliasson is also interested in architecture, urban planning and the social space as a generator of a sense of community?
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Olafur Eliasson: In real life
Published to accompany the exhibition, the catalogue features an essay by curator Mark Godfrey, as well as eighteen conversations between the artist and a remarkably varied range of people working both inside and outside the arts
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