Olafur Eliasson Quotes

The viewer brings something individual to the experience of any artwork.

Light has an evident, functional and aesthetic impact on our lives.

Having an experience is taking part in the world. Taking part in the world is really about sharing responsibility.

I always try to make work that activates the viewer to be a co-producer of our shared reality.

Olafur Eliasson

Over the years, in making art, I have constantly explored issues dealing with space, time, light, and society. I am particularly interested in how the light of a space determines how we see that space and similarly, in how light and color are actually phenomena within us, within our own eyes.

My goal is to formulate a new color theory based on the full spectrum of visible light.

I want to expose and evaluate the fact that the seeing and sensing process is a system that should not be taken for granted as natural – it’s a cultivated means of reality production that, as a system, can be negotiated and changed.

Artists are valuable to public discussion: They show the correlation between doing and thinking.

Olafur Eliasson

For the sake of sanity, the brain and the eyes keep things simple. But take away the sense of sight and suddenly things are not so simple.

Your rainbow panorama enters into a dialogue with the existing architecture and reinforces what is assured beforehand, that is to say the view of the city. I have created a space which virtually erases the boundaries between inside and outside – where people become a little uncertain as to whether they have stepped into a work or into a part of the museum. This uncertainty is important to me, as it encourages people to think and sense beyond the limits within which they are accustomed to moving.

I see the artist as a participant, a co-producer of reality. I do not see the artist as a person who sits at a distance and evaluates.

Olafur Eliasson

Ive walked a lot in the mountains in Iceland. And as you come to a new valley, as you come to a new landscape, you have a certain view. If you stand still, the landscape doesnt necessarily tell you how big it is. It doesnt really tell you what youre looking at. The moment you start to move the mountain starts to move.

I was interested in how we engage the world. How do we use our skin as our eyes? If you read a cityscape or a landscape with just your mind, and not your body, it becomes like a picture or representation, not something you really engage with.

Photographs have a relevance for things that cannot be said.

I see the artist as a participant, a co-producer of reality.

I do not think making art alone makes it any better than making it with a team of people.

I can use the camera to make a place or landscape; the camera to a greater extent projects rather than takes in or reproduces. The camera, or, rather, the eye, produces the impression of the place: I as a photographer am not passively taking in; I am active as a subject generating the object.

I think an artist has the potential to investigate both form and content within one activity, to show that there can be coherence between form and values in our society, as in thinking about a city and building one.

I don’t think you need to be so result-oriented when you’re trying to define the success of an art work. I think we can allow some unpredictability.

I believe that access to electricity and light can radically improve people‚ lives.

By bringing Little Sun to Tate Modern and the London Olympics, I hope to realise an art project for those who typically have no access to global events of this scale.

Every city is always changing, on its own trajectory.

There are 1.3 billion people today who have no access to electricity. Many of them rely on kerosene lanterns for light, but kerosene is both expensive and hazardous to the health.

When museums are left with so little money that their future is in the hands of private donors, then they are unable to develop their own signatures by collecting themselves. On the other hand, though, I think we should also celebrate the fact that there is a lot of art that lives outside of, or on the outskirts of, the art market – and it is doing quite well.

If I have the choice of traveling to Russia, India or New Zealand alone for a week for preliminary discussions or to spend that week with my family, I routinely choose my family.