“LIFE” by Olafur Eliasson

‘Panoramic awareness’ within an open, uncertain landscape

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文 / 奥拉维尔·埃利亚松
Text: Olafur Eliasson

这些年来,我越来越感兴趣于从广泛的、以生物为中心的视角,而非以人类为中心的视角去思考生命。我发现自己正在将名词转变为动词,比如,在做展览的时候,我试图将“树”变为“种树”,为的是能够感知到超出我们人类通常可以想象到的观点。

人类的生命,与所有哺乳动物一样,依赖于氧气的吐息。追随人类学家Natasha Myers和Timothy Choy的看法,我认为生命也是一场“共谋”,它关乎于其“共同呼吸”的词源,也关乎于其在词典中的释义。我们与树“共谋”,与他人共谋,与我们的地球共谋。

In recent years, I have increasingly grown interested in efforts to consider life not from a human-centric perspective but from a broad, biocentric perspective. I’ve found myself turning nouns into verbs – when I go through my exhibition, I try to tree, for instance – in order to become aware of perspectives that go beyond what we humans can properly imagine.

Life for humans, like all mammals, depends on inhaling and exhaling, on oxygen. Following the anthropologists Natasha Myers and Timothy Choy, I’d say that life is also about conspiring – playing on the origin of the word (‘to breathe with’) as well as the dictionary definition. We conspire with the tree, with others, and with the planet.

▼展览一瞥,A glance to the exhibition © Mark Niedermann | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

当我们意识到,我们的生命与周围事物以及远超于自身所在环境的结构和系统有着密不可分的联系时,我们便懂得了自身的脆弱性和不可控性。我们的行为和互动均发生在不确定和无法预测结果的情境之中。借用人类学家Anna L. Tsing的话来说:动荡,似乎是不幸者的命运。如今看来,我们的生活无不处于动荡之中,尽管此时此刻我们的口袋并非空空如也。

我的艺术作品,“生命”,它与贝耶勒美术馆的空间、周围的公园、城市景观乃至地球交织在一起,同时,它们通过在其中相遇的每一个人和事物而变得生动起来。

When we recognise that our lives are inextricably entangled with our surroundings and with structures and systems that extend far beyond our local context, we learn, I believe, that we are all vulnerable and not fully in control. We act and interact in situations defined by uncertainty and unclear outcomes. In the words of anthropologist Anna L. Tsing: Precarity once seemed the fate of the less fortunate. Now it seems that all our lives are precarious – even when, for the moment, our pockets are lined.

Life, my artwork, and the Fondation Beyeler are entangled with the surrounding park, the urban landscape, and the planet, and they come to life through everything and everyone that meet up in it.

▼从草地望向美术馆空间,View to the exhibition from the surrounding lawn © Mark Niedermann | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“生命”呈现的是一个未来的景观模型。它欢迎着人们的进入。几年前,当贝耶勒美术馆(Fondation Beyeler)的主管Sam Keller第一次和我讨论这个展览时,我就在想,何不让一切人事物都参与其中?我们可以邀请地球上的植物和各类生命进入这个展览。除了将大门敞开,我还决定移除那些将外部环境隔绝在美术馆之外的结构边界。在此我要感谢美术馆方,以及创造它的建筑师伦佐·皮亚诺——他们给予了我充分的信任和关照,帮助我将玻璃幕墙小心谨慎地从建筑中拆除。

Life presents a model for a future landscape. It is hospitable. When Sam Keller, the Director of the Fondation Beyeler, and I first discussed the exhibition a couple of years ago, I thought, Why don’t we invite everyone to the show? Let’s invite the planet – plants and various species. Beyond just opening a door, I decided to remove the structural boundaries that keep the outside out of the institution, and I am grateful to the Fondation Beyeler and to the architect Renzo Piano, who built the museum, for trusting me to carefully – and caringly – have the glass façade removed from the building.

▼水池和步道,The pool and the pathway © Pati Grabowicz | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

▼未来的景观模型,欢迎着人们的进入,A hospitable model for a future landscape  © Mark Niedermann | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

和美术馆一起,我们放弃了对艺术品的控制,可以说,我们把它交付给了人类与非人类的观众,交付给了植物、微生物、天气和气候——许多都是美术馆竭力阻隔在外部的因素。相反,我们所做的正是欢迎它们的进入。

Together with the museum, I am giving up control over the artwork, so to speak, handing it over to human and non-human visitors, to plants, microorganisms, the weather, the climate – many of these elements that museums usually work very hard to keep out. Instead, we are trying to welcome everyone and everything in.

▼内部空间,Internal space © Mark Niedermann | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

▼连通的空间,The interconnected space © Pati Grabowicz | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

我希望“生命”能够鼓励参观者在一个被扩展的、开放的、不确定的景观中体验自己,作为复合的生命体,参与到更广阔的、脱离规则的生态环境之中。它邀请人们在景观内部收获“全景式的认知”,它使人们意识到:存在于身后的世界、两旁的世界以及头顶上方的世界,与存在于你眼前的世界同等重要。

I hope that Life encourages visitors to experience themselves within an expanded – open, uncertain – landscape, as composite beings, caught up in larger, unruly ecologies. It invites ‘panoramic awareness’ within the landscape. It suggests that what is behind you, on either side of you, or above you is as important as what lies in front and ahead of you.

▼沉浸式的全景体验,An immersive, ‘panoramic’ experience © Mark Niedermann | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

▼展览夜间全貌,Overall view by night © Mark Niedermann | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

虽然“生命”看上去是用“自然”占据美术馆的整个空间,但它同时也展示了一种具有显著雕塑性质的体验。覆盖着大部分空间的“绿水”被注入了萤光素钠,是一种用于研究水流的无毒染料,我用它来表现水的存在。作品中使用的植物有矮株的睡莲、贝壳花和水蕨等等,他们由我的好朋友、景观设计师Günther Vogt精心挑选。

While Life may give the impression that nature has taken over the Fondation Beyeler, it simultaneously also presents a profoundly sculpted experience. The bright green water, which takes up most of the space, is infused with uranine, a nontoxic dye used to study water flow. I’ve used it to make the presence of the water explicit. The plants in Life – dwarf water lilies, shellflowers, water ferns, and more – were carefully selected by my good friend, the landscape architect Günther Vogt.

▼利用萤光素钠制造出的“绿水”
The bright green water is infused with uranine © Pati Grabowicz | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

▼水与植物,The water and the plants © Pati Grabowicz | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“生命”是一个集体性的实验。它挑战了我们对艺术、自然、展馆和生活所持的惯有看法,并试图去消除它们之间的界限。植物、动物、人类与微生物在这项作品中实现了共生。每一天,时间与天气的变化都影响着展览的发展与感知。——贝耶勒美术馆主管Sam Keller

This artwork is a collective experiment. It challenges our conventions of art, nature, institution and life and attempts to dissolve their boundaries. Plants, animals, humans and microorganisms live together in this work. Both the time of day and the weather influence the development and perception of this exhibition. — Sam Keller, Director of the Fondation Beyeler

▼线上直播截图,Livestream stills ©Patricia Grabowicz | 2021 Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson
Life, 2021
Water, Uranine, UV lights, wood, plastic sheet, cameras, kaleidoscopes, common duckweed (Lemnar minor), dwarf waterlilies (Nymphaea tetragona, Nymphaea ‘Pygmaea Rubra’, Nymphaea ‘Ellisiana’), European frog bit (Hydrocharis morsus- rana), European water clover (Marsilea quadrifolia), floating fern (Salvinia natans), red root floater (Phyllanthus fluitans), shellflower (Pistia stratiodes), South- American frog bit (Limnobium laevigatum), and water caltrop (Trapa natans) Installation view: Fondation Beyeler
Photo: Mark Niedermann
Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
© 2021 Olafur Eliasson

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