A GALLERY “FLOODED”
LIFE, the latest exhibition by artist Olafur Eliasson at Foundation Beyeler, has presented itself in a rather unique form: water was led in and flowing inside the museum, which opened to visitors and passing wildlife around the clock, day and night.
Eliasson has flooded the exhibition hall with green water, turning the museum’s interior into a natural landscape, which tangoes with elements outside of the building, presenting a multisensory experience with changing weather, sunshine, and smells and sounds of the nearby garden. At night, the water, colored with a fluorescent dye, lights up the entire exhibition hall.
The fluorescent dye Eliasson has used in this project is an organic dye commonly used in observing water flows, usually to track the leakage in piping.
People can walk through the aisle, enjoying the experience brought by the surrounding 80cm-deep water, while nearby wild animals are welcomed to come inside and take a tour at any time. “I am giving up control over the artwork, so to speak”, says Eliasson, “handing it over to human and non-human visitors, to plants, microorganisms, the weather, the climate – many of these elements that museums usually work very hard to keep out.”
Embracing all these elements itself also speaks volumes about the title of this project at Foundation Beyeler – “LIFE”.