Olafur Eliasson to bring his tunnel of fog work to Tate Modern

Danish-Icelandic artist’s Your blind passenger installation to be on display from July

A 45-metre tunnel of blinding fog through which less than a handful of people will be able to walk at any given time is to be installed at the Tate Modern, part of an enormous summer exhibition by the artist Olafur Eliasson.

The Danish-Icelandic artist is best known for his Weather Project installation in the gallery’s Turbine Hall in 2003. It was one of the most popular installations in the Tate Modern’s history, with people lying down and basking in the dazzling fake sunlight.

Titled Your blind passenger, 2010, the tunnel of fog will ask questions about the human senses. Eliasson said people tended to go in to the tunnel and straight away think they could not see anything.

Olafur Eliasson’s Your blind passenger, 2010

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Speaking about his Weather Project installation, the artist disclosed some couples got up to more than basking. Asked whether his fog work could be a “tunnel of love”, he said it was a possibility. “We had with the Weather Project opportunities which I would think could be describable as love and beyond,” he said.

The Tate Modern will bring together more than 30 works from nearly three decades of Eliasson’s works in 1,000 square metres of exhibition space.

Olafur Eliasson.
Olafur Eliasson. Photograph: Runa Maya Mørk Huber/PA

It will include a version of Moss wall, 1994, which features reindeer moss from Iceland on a big wall; Your spiral view, 2002, an installation that features kaleidoscopic mirrors which people walk through; and Room for one colour, 1997, a weirdly yellow room that makes everyone in it also look yellow.

Beyond the exhibits there are plans for a weekly Skype call between visitors to the exhibition and his studio.

Olafur Eliasson’s installation the Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern.
Olafur Eliasson’s installation the Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. Photograph: Dan Chung/The Guardian

Eliasson will collaborate with the Tate Modern’s catering team to serve in the Terrace Bar the type of organic, vegetarian and ethically sourced food that he and his team eat collectively every day for lunch.

The artist said he hoped also to “colonise” some of the Tate Modern’s exterior space, though details of that were being kept under wraps. In December Eliasson placed 24 large blocks of ice from Greenland outside the gallery to emphasise the effects of climate change.

The Tate Modern’s director of exhibitions, Achim Borchardt-Hume, said the gallery would present the largest-ever survey of Eliasson’s work. “The extraordinary power of Olafur’s work, I think, is that he condenses very complex ideas into seemingly simple, extremely accessible images and experiences.”

• Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, Tate Modern, 11 July to 5 January 2020.


Mark Brown Arts correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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