“Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun;
Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends.”
―John Donne – the complete english poems.
What is reality? You could say reality is constructed and that we are a part of those structures, but what makes these structures tangible, how do we sense reality, how do we perceive reality? – This is where Olufar Elliasson comes in. Elliasson is Danish artist who’s well known for it’s large installations and sculptures where he tends to make the natural elements and experiences that it produces more tangible.
“Art is not only about decorating the world and making it look even better or even worse (subjective notion of art), it’s also about taking responsibility.” – Let’s start with this notion of art, and as we go further I’ll try to explain it to you, what it means and most of all, how powerful it’s content is.
What’s the difference between thinking and doing?
What does it mean when I’m in a space, does it make any difference?
“New York City Waterfalls“ – A large-scale installation project by Eliasson which ran from July 2008 till October 2008 in which he tries to make “space” more experienceable, more tangible. To accomplish this he uses the speed of water as an indicator, as a measurement of how big a structure is. He uses it as an indicator of time and therefore also of distance. “How long does it take till the water reaches the surface, how fast is the water falling when watching from a distance”: one could ask himself. This way he attempts to make the space and dimensions of the (enormous) city more tangible. Because New York is after all a city that tends to play around with the sense of space. – It’s enormous, large-scaled, somewhat surreal.
So these waterfalls are not only an act of bringing nature back to the city but also about giving them a sense of dimension. Eliasson beliefs that it makes a big difference whether you have a body which feels a part of space, rather than having a body who’s just in front of a picture. Because when someone has a sense of time and space it makes the space accessible. It makes the space changeable. Again you could relate this with community, to come back to what I talked about yesterday. It could relate to collectivity and the sense of being together. (See last post; “chaos reinvented & how life gave birth to itself” ) Therefore they might feel a part of that space, of society.
But how do we create public space that is both tolerant towards individuality and also to collectivity whithout polerising the two into opposites? Let’s say that experiencing art and space is about taking part into the world, about sharing responsibility. So what’s the difference between thinking and doing and what’s in between? Experiencing something is what connects both opposites. But what’s experiencing something? Having an experience is taking part in the world, is sharing something, it’s about sharing responsibility. That’s why art really makes a relevance in this world. Therefore Art and culture has proven that one can create a space which is both sensitive to collectivity and individuality.