Blurring the boundaries between the Natural world and the Manmade in one wide, sweeping gesture, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson's first solo exhibit, aptly titled Riverbed, brings the Outdoors in.
Recreating an enormous, ruggedly enchanting landscape, complete with riverbed and rocky earth, the artist draws heavily from site-specific inspiration. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art's location on the Danish coast lends a raw, elemental and powerful character that extends into the building as a major intervention, transforming into a work of art.
Eliasson's exhibition also questions the meaning and experience of the museum itself, and the complexities of the relationship between the artist, building, and viewer. Both grand and humble, the installation overturns expectations of the role of museum-goer and dances between definitions of observer and participant. By exploring the process of inhabiting space, Eliasson focuses the visitor's attention on the art itself by encouraging the visitor to explore the landscape. Thus, the visitor is both at the exhibit and on it.
By crafting a landscape, the artist evokes a primal sense of freedom. Avoiding traditional expectations of behavior and thought associated with museums, Eliasson strips away superficial information through the emptiness of the landscape. There is nothing on the walls, and there is no expected way to act within or experience the space, allowing for freedom of reflection, thought, sensory experience, and sense of self.
Rounding out the exhibit is a set of videos, Your Embodied Garden, Movement Microscope, and Innen Stadt Aussen, all emphasizing movement, while the Model Room provides an insight into Olafur Eliasson's active mind and artistic process.