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Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life at Tate Modern

Updated: Dec 10, 2019


This exhibition is a collection of his work from 1990 to today. It takes you through the journey of Eliasson's and his team's design process allowing you to see their initial models and idea boards through to the final concepts.

Walking through it you are surrounded by multi sensory exhibits, including a wall fully covered in moss and a 39 meter long room full of smoke that only allows you to see 1.5 meters ahead of you.

Prior to the exhibition I have watched the Abstract episode about Eliasson, his work and his design process. This helped me to better understand the exhibition and know the context of some of the models present such as the ones from the Waterfall project.

One of the most fascinating things I've seen was a yellow light that takes away all the colour. You are drowned in it when you first step into the lift that takes you to the exhibition. It's shocking how suddenly all the colour is taken away and you are surrounded by a black and white world.

In his work, Olafur Eliasson often uses glacial ice to highlight the idea of climate change and the effect that this has on glaciers. My favourite one in this exhibition was 'Glacial currents'. It was made by placing chunks of glacial ice on top of coloured pigments and once the ice melted, the water blended together with the pigments creating a painting.

Kaleidoscopes are used in some of the installations as the "multiple reflections reconfigure what you see". The lights were dimmed and the room was filled with colourful shapes that were created by the kaleidoscope installations.

Overall walking through the exhibition you are surrounded by works both 2D and 3D, interactive and non interactive. You are taken on a journey that plays with your different senses and allows you to reflect and re-think the way you perceive things, even those every day ones.

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