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.
With a focus on light and perspective, Olafur Eliasson’s installations have a transformative capacity that allows the viewer to experience the illusion of a supernatural environment. In an interstitial space of the Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Gravity Stairs is composed of glowing spheres which, attached to the ceiling and bathed in warm yellow light, resemble the sun. The otherworldly light and a mirror on the ceiling present an impression of floating through space and among celestial bodies.
The Armory Show 2014 is particularly entertaining for the number of selfie-inducing artworks glittered throughout the massive 208,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at Pier 92/94 in New York City. Gleaming works of polished steel and chrome have been increasingly prominent in art fairs, perhaps most obviously with Rirkrit Tiravanija’s mirrored ping-pong table at NYEHAUS during Basel 2008, but the sheer abundance of literal reflections at this year’s Armory speaks true of what undeniably catches the busy fair goer’s eyes these days. From Olafur Eliasson’s triangular mirrors with frosted tips at i8 Gallery to Iván Navarro’s one-way mirrored neon boxes at Galerie Daniel Templon, the Armory Show reminds individuals to take a moment to reflect inwardly before returning to the sea of engulfing works found in over 200 exhibiting galleries from 29 countries.
In his clever photographs of landscapes, Paris based photographer Guillaume Amat visually explores the meaning of continuity. His recent and ongoing series titled “Open Fields” features images of empty scenes occupied by a fixed, centered mirror to give a window into all that is missing or, perhaps, all that is present. Amat’s images are striking and profound, sincere in their depictions of reality yet simultaneously contrived. One gets a sense of seeing more deeply into the moment than a typical photograph can provide.