Feelings are facts

May 10, 2010 /

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
Beijing, China
On view: April 04, 2010 - June 24, 2010

Photo courtesy UCCA

In the space installation Feelings are facts, Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong challenge our everyday patterns of spatial orientation.

Photo: Connie Leung

Vision functions as our primary, default sense for navigation, but this expansive installation induces initial insecurity in its visitors by radically reducing visibility, thereby suggesting the need to invent new models for perception.

Photo: Connie Leung

Basing this project on a series of previous experiments with atmospheric density, Eliasson introduces condensed banks of artificially produced fog into the gallery, whose dimensions have been further altered by substantially lowering the ceiling and constructing an inclined wooden floor.

Hundreds of fluorescent lights are installed in the ceiling as a grid of red, green, and blue zones. By permeating the fog, these lights create colored walk-through spaces that, in Eliasson's words, function to "make the volume of the space explicit." The colored zones introduce a scale of measurement in the gallery, their varying size and organization referencing urban planning grids. At each color boundary, two hues blend to create transitional slivers of cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Photo courtesy UCCA
Photo courtesy UCCA
Photo courtesy UCCA
Photo courtesy UCCA
Photo courtesy UCCA
Photo courtesy UCCA

Walking through the dense, illuminated atmosphere, visitors can navigate by using this intuitive colour atlas. Another means of navigation is the floor construction. Whereas movement on a plane sur face can be effortlessly accomplished, the sloping floor challenges visitors to readjust their balance, constantly having to shift their weight and body posture to counterbalance the inclination. This fact emphasizes the crucial role of the moving body in our perception of our surroundings. The further visitors venture into the space, the steeper the floor gets, until the point where it becomes a wave-like curved wall. Since the ceiling imitates this construction, a seemingly boundless space is discerned above./Olafur Eliasson
Space and light bring life into existence. There is no space, unless given light and boundary. Space has never existed, but rather exists only in the specific feelings it induces. Space in reality, exists only in sensuality. With expanding desire, everything is managed with utmost efficiency. Our feelings and sensibilities are seeing facts in the context of habituated life. Not until shutting our eyes, can we feel the world from within, space and light will touch your soul./Ma Yansong




Olafur Eliasson

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

Copyright 1999 - 2017 arcspace all rights reserved.