Let’s be honest, some days feel like we’re just stumbling around blindly, unable to tell which way is up, don’t they? For those that want the real deal though, Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson – whose artworks have helped humanity in times of crisis – is offering real “blindness” with an upcoming installation at Tate Modern.
Your blind passenger – first seen at Copenhagen’s Arken Museum of Modern Art in 2010 – is a 45-metre tunnel of dense fog that emphasises the human senses as viewers walk through it. “Very quickly you realise, and I mean this quite literally, that you are not completely blind after all, you have a lot of other senses which start to kick in,” Eliasson says, in The Guardian. “It shows that the relativity of our senses is much higher than we think, we have it in our capacity to recalibrate or at least stop being numb.”
The installation will follow other works with Tate Modern: in 2003, Eliasson unveiled a massive artificial sun in the gallery’s Turbine Hall for his Weather Project installation. Last December he placed ice blocks from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland outside the gallery, to raise awareness of climate change.
It won’t be alone, either, this tunnel of fog. The Tate Modern will be displaying 30 of Eliasson’s works from almost as many years as part of the summer exhibition, the biggest survey of the artist’s work to ever go on display.
Moss wall (1994), a wall of reindeer moss from Iceland, Your spiral view (2002), a kaleidoscopic mirror installation, and Room for one colour (1997), a room drenched in yellow, will all feature in the exhibition.
It also sounds like the artist has plans for the outside of Tate Modern – he says he hopes to “colonise” its exterior – but details are scarce. We’ll have to wait until summer to see it for ourselves.
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life will run at Tate Modern from July 11, 2019 to January 5, 2020.