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Make 'Contact' with Olafur Eliasson's Cosmic New Exhibition

Olafur Eliasson launches his first solo show in Paris since 2002 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
December 15, 2014, 9:00pm
Olafur Eliasson, Contact, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan

Olafur Eliasson has created a “cosmos” of constructed spaces and optical devices at the newly opened Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. In Eliasson's Contact, a multi-room immersive installation, the viewer begins at a palpable meteorite, then enters a room of moving shadows and geometries, moves through a passageway coated with black sandpaper, into an area lit by a single horizon line, past a "model of a black hole," and finally ends on the roof in front of a sun-tracker. Eliasson's work is the first contemporary art exhibit showcased at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and the second feature of the building’s inaugural program.


“My exhibition addresses that which lies at the edge of our senses and knowledge, of our imagination and our expectations. It is about the horizon that divides, for each of us, the known from the unknown,” explains Eliasson in the press release. Over the years, he has probed the poetic connections between art and science, creating a massive ice installation, a sphere sculpture that imitates a school of fish, and a digital moonscape covered in graffiti. With Contact, Eliasson continues his exploration of perception.

Eliasson structured his work around Frank Gehry’s strong architectural vision: “While Gehry follows highly complex principles, I’ve chosen to use simple geometry, eventually reducing my intervention to basic shapes that provide the exhibition with a ‘geometric metronome,’” he explains in an interview with curators Laurence Bossé and Hans Ulrich Obrist. At the same time, he wanted to “bring in the universe” and reimagine the typical boundaries of an exhibition experience.

Below, tour a selection of the works, and catch Eliasson’s Contact at the Fondation Louis Vuitton from December 17, 2014 to February 2015.

Olafur Eliasson, Touch, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan

Olafur Eliasson, Map for unthought thoughts, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan

Olafur Eliasson, Double infinity, 2014 (detail)

Olafur Eliasson, Contact, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan

Olafur Eliasson, Bridge from the future, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan

Olafur Eliasson, Big Bang Fountain, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan

Olafur Eliasson, Dust particle, 2014 Photo: Iwan Baan


Olafur Eliasson Brings Colossal Ice Installation To Denmark In The Name Of Climate Change

Olafur Eliasson Sculpture At Frieze London Imitates A School Of Fish

Olafur Eliasson Creates A Sun You Can Fit In Your Pocket

[Exclusive Video] Make Your Mark On The Moon With Olafur Eliasson and Ai Weiwei