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Olafur Eliasson: The Uncertain Museum

From the Collection

July 19 – September 30, 2012
A young visitor enters the sculpture and expresses herself. Photo by J Caldwell.

“Seeing Yourself Sensing”

Dancers move within the sculpture. Photo by J Caldwell.
Dancers move within the sculpture. Photo by J Caldwell.

The Nasher Museum brought back a popular work, The uncertain museum, by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, known for his large-scale sculptures that entice visitors to interact and react. The uncertain museum is a circular, translucent room that invites visitors to step inside and cast patterns of projected light and shadows from hanging, mirrored discs. Outside the installation, visitors can watch silhouettes of people moving about inside. Eliasson has described this moment of perception, when the viewer pauses to consider the experience, as “seeing yourself sensing.” By introducing heightened ‘natural’ phenomena, such as intense light and reflection into a setting, the artist encourages the viewer to reflect upon an understanding of the surrounding physical world. Eliasson lives and works in Berlin.

About 80 visitors watch ADF student move inside the sculpture. Photo by J Caldwell.

Dancers Respond, Visitors Watch

ADF student dancers move inside The uncertain museum. Photo by J Caldwell.

The Nasher Museum invited New York dancer and choreographer Gwen Welliver, faculty member of American Dance Festival, to respond to The uncertain museum. She and her composition lab students presented three informal showings of work inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale interactive installation, The uncertain museum. The dancers moved inside the sculpture and interacted with patterns of projected light and shadow that visitors saw from outside the space. In between dances, visitors had the chance to step inside the installation.

Video

A visual exploration of Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale interactive installation, The uncertain museum at the Nasher Museum. Film and assembly by D.L. Anderson for INDYweek.
Visitors interact with each other and the art, in a session led by Curator of Education Juline Chevalier. Photo by J Caldwell.
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