Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Olafur Eliasson’s “Baroque Baroque” at Belvedere’s Winter Palace

Known for his provocative installations that bend both reality and perception, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (previously featured on Hi-Fructose) aims to emphasize the relativity of reality. In his latest of many ambitious projects, he situates his works in the stunning baroque space of the Viennese Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in an aptly titled exhibition, "Baroque Baroque". While the relationship between his contemporary work and the extravagant exhibition space might not be clear at first, it comes into focus as both the art and its setting reflect a “prolific process of constant reformulation.” The double title emphasizes how the exhibition is a reformulation of a reformulation- a space of altered expectations and aesthetics.

Known for his provocative installations that bend both reality and perception, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (previously featured on Hi-Fructose) aims to emphasize the relativity of reality. In his latest of many ambitious projects, he situates his works in the stunning baroque space of the Viennese Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in an aptly titled exhibition, “Baroque Baroque”. While the relationship between his contemporary work and the extravagant exhibition space might not be clear at first, it comes into focus as both the art and its setting reflect a “prolific process of constant reformulation.” The double title emphasizes how the exhibition is a reformulation of a reformulation- a space of altered expectations and aesthetics.

“I find it inspiring that the baroque exhibited such confidence in the fluidity of the boundaries between models of reality and, simply, reality,” Eliasson says of the project. “The presentation of my works at the Winter Palace is based on trust in the possibility of constructing reality according to our shared dreams and desires and faith in the idea that constructions and models are as real as anything.”

Through his ambitious and unconventional use of mirrors, the viewer experiences a unique intersection between “reality” and “reflection.” A site-specific installation entitled “Wishes versus wonders,” 2015, is perhaps the highlight of the exhibition: half of a circular brass ring is mounted on a large mirror such that its reflection completes the circle- it seems to hover over the parquet floor, transcending the space between the actual and the artificial.

With influences as diverse as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the James Turrell Skyspace at MoMA PS1, New York, and the quicksilver-like policeman in Terminator 2, Eliasson’s work can be seen as bridging the gap between high and low “culture.” In taking over the opulent Viennese palace, he transforms a place of exclusivity into a space where human beings can encounter the limits of their own perception.

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
A 50-foot-tall Minotaur and a giant spider recently descended upon Toulouse, France, as part of the La Machine theater company's most recent performance. The group, lead by François Delarozière, created the show "The Guardian of the Temple," using the city as a makeshift "labyrinth." Sixteen technicians helped work the minotaur creature alone.
Jason Borders's carved animal skulls are morbidly fascinating. While the ornate, lace-like patterns he engraves into the bone draw viewers in with their beauty, it's easy to become repulsed when you truly think about the origins of his materials. "A large part of what I do involves a familiarization with death," he says. "My belief is that, as painful as it can be, looking directly at death helps you to live your life with intent and purpose." While, in Western culture, we tend to remove death as far away from ourselves as possible, perhaps a more holistic way of thinking about it is to view it as part of our existence. In using animal remains to create something new, Borders' work reminds viewers of the cyclical nature of life.
Born in Brazil, living in New York City, Marcelo Daldoce gives substance and heft to watercolor portraits.
Brendan Lee Satish Tang’s ceramic sculptures are mash-ups of cultures, histories, and pop influences. His series, Manga Ormolu, in particular, are clashes between Chinese Ming dynasty vessels and "techno-Pop Art." The artist says "the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian." Tang was featured way back in Hi-Fructose Vol. 6 (and you can now see pieces from that issue in Hi-Fructose Collected 2).

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List