Despite the stern Spanish ladies who did everything short of rapping knuckles of camera wielders, I managed to smuggle a little video of one of Olafur Eliasson‘s installations at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. You will be able to tell that there has been no loss to cinematography thanks to my decision to not be a cameraperson. Hopefully, however, you will get a glimpse of the enchanted world of Eliasson’s art.
I’ve read a lot about Eliasson. Most people are entranced by his stuff. One critic wasn’t so charmed, however, and bemoaned how Eliasson’s work demands you forget the space of the gallery which, in case of museums like the Guggenheim in New York, can be a shame. His use of light, reflection and mirrors was one of the most dramatic uses of the white cube gallery I could have imagined. They are absolutely hypnotic and deceptively simple to look at. That’s probably why the staff of Fundacio Miro was so strict about cameras but they needn’t have been. Replicating his works is not easy and – this is the best part – so much of them is a dialogue with the viewer who becomes part of the work. When you see yourself in the circle of light, the work is completed. With a few shiny discs and clever lights, he created labyrinths and fairytale moments. Light turned into something solid and real. It was magic.