An affirmation of humanity, peace and beauty in Paris, the new show of Icelandic-Dutch artist Olafur Eliasson transports us into the sublime world of outer space. Called the alchemist of the art world, Eliasson gives viewers an experiential rush, report Jeanne-Marie Cilento and Antonio Visconti
|Frank Gehry's Foundation Louis Vuitton, Bois de Boulogne|
|Meteorite fragment at the entrance to the Contact show|
|The relations between self, space, and universe are explored|
|There is an interplay between moving light and shadow|
“My exhibition addresses that which lies at the edge of our senses and knowledge, of our imagination and our expectations,” Eliasson explains. “It is about the horizon that divides, for each of us, the known from the unknown.”
|The show is like walking across the top of a planetary sphere|
|There are eight installations part of the extraordinary Contact show|
The show exhibits eight works including the rooftop heliostat 'sun tracker' that refracts rays onto a polyhedron sculpture suspended near the museum’s entry. Eliasson’s site-specific Inside the Horizon, has 43 illuminated triangular columns staggered out along the museum’s grotto.
|The show is an exploration of the known and the unknown|
|The Big Bang Fountain shows a split-second of earthly forces|
Another great, cave-like gallery opens out revealing a crystalline, icy realm of white light and black shadows. The temperature in this space is noticeably cool. Overhead, a black moon-shaped shadow moves over the ceiling. Gradually you realise only half the awe-inspiring oval space is real: it is bisected by a mirror. This place exists fully only in your own mind.
|A cavernous chamber feels very hot with a golden horizon|
Another grand chamber feels very hot and you are surrounded by a thin orange line of flame. But the last and most compelling installation is a fountain sputtering in darkness. Every few seconds it is illuminated by a seeming flash of lightning. The dancing water leaves a lasting impression on the mind ~ like the rest of this magical, otherworldly exhibition.
Contact is open until 16 February 2015 at the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris: http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/