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Olafur Eliasson’s Art Fights Climate Change

Ice Watch, 2014
Place du Panthéon, Paris, 2015

Photo: Martin Argyroglo


Famous for his large installations concerning environmental issues, Olafur Eliasson plays with perception and makes the individuals experience the first hand. Grown-up in Iceland and Denmark, the artist moved to Berlin and founded Studio Olafur Eliasson, where he collaborates with a team of specialized people and experts nowadays.

The span of Eliasson’s works reaches outside the museum and gallery space to the public sphere dealing with the issues of climate change and encourage sustainability. The artist collaborates with other experts to better understand the subject matter. He uses a different visual language to communicate his ideas.

In the Ice-Watch installation, with geologist Minik Rosing, the artist raised awareness about the realities of melting ice sheets in the Arctic. Twelve blocks of ice from the Greenland ice sheet, put in the public sphere and presented as a clock, provided the viewers to experience the ecological crisis. The installation first held in Copenhagen in 2014, then in Paris in (2015 and in London (2018). Significantly, the installation is made in a public environment instead of a museum space as every individual passing by unconsciously interacted with the work and received the message. The artist reminds us to engage with the installation physically and emotionally.

Olafur Eliasson explores the world around us to respond to global social and environmental issues. His works arise conversations that motivate and push people to a more sustainable way of life. The artist creates awareness of the natural events with human-made formations, using science and turning it into art. The Waterfall in New York City, the fake sun at The Weather Project, the solar energy project of the Little Sun, are all examples. He is one of the most creative artists of all time. He invents and, people benefit from it.


Elin Yurtdaş

ARUCAD Faculty of Arts Year 4 Student

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