Olafur Eliasson: Never Tired of Looking at Each Other – Only the Mountain and I

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Flocks of birds fly high and vanish;
A single cloud, alone, calmly drifts on.
Never tired of looking at each other—
Only the Jingting Mountain and me.
- Li Bai (701-762), Sitting Alone in Jingting Mountain

Olafur Eliasson: Never Tired of Looking at Each Other – Only the Mountain and I is a publication as an experimental space. Rather than a linear narrative, it follows an improvised internal logic. The Chinese scholar’s garden was tested as a spatial model for walking through the art works of Olafur Eliasson in book format and for exploring the key philosophical concerns in his artistic practice.

The book contains extensive material from a trip undertaken in February 2011 to the Master of Nets Garden and the Lion Grove Garden, two scholar’s gardens in Suzhou, China, just outside of Shanghai. Along with the initiators of the journey – artist Olafur Eliasson, writer Hu Fang, and Zhang Wei – the group included choreographer and dancer Steen Koerner and a film crew among others. The journey explored the traditional Chinese scholar’s garden as a model for physical movement, for duration, rhythm, and sequencing, and also as inspiration for the present book.

The significance of gardens lies not in their confirmable existence, but rather in the fact that one can experience them in a variety of ways. The spatial structure of the book replicates the emotions we experience walking in a garden: the flow and drift of energy that slowly changes as we traverse an infinitely evolving route. If reading the book can be considered to be a journey, it is one characterized by many routes and constantly changing emotions, and eventually, it becomes each person’s individual (E)motional Map.

The book includes texts by Olafur Eliasson, Hu Fang, Francisco Varela, Bruno Latour, Günther Vogt, and the Chinese poet Ling Yue.

Edited by: Anna Engberg-Pedersen, Hu Fang, Huang Shan, Lu Jia|Format: 17.5cm x 28.3cm|Pages: 278 normal pages, 8 small insert pages, 6 long folding pages, 1 small insert booklet with 24 pages | Language: Chinese + English | Publisher:Walther König & The Pavilion | Price: EUR 65

About Olafur Eliasson

Born in 1967 in Copenhagen to Icelandic parents and based in Berlin since 1994, Olafur Eliasson is one of the most influential artists working today. In 2003, he represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale and produced the critically acclaimed The weather project in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London. He co-designed the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007 in London with Kjetil Thorsen, and realised The New York City Waterfalls (2008), a series of waterfalls along the shorelines of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Eliasson set up the Institut für Raumexperimente at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2009, and co-designed the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre (HARPA), completed in 2011. Among his recent projects and exhibitions, Eliasson collaborated with architect Ma Yansong on an exhibition at the UCCA in Beijing (Feelings are facts, 2010).

 

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