Olafur Eliasson


We can observe how throughout history different models of seeing and relating to space – our relation to surroundings, that is – have replaced one another in parallel to social, ideological, technical, and other changes. Through a given time's grounds of value, we structure our surroundings in such a way that they appear meaningful and as an understandable entity. I believe that artistic practice as such is one of the discussions aiming to expose that the characteristics of our time are not natural (values) but in fact cultural situations.

In order to increase the contact to the entire area – to the context of which the Danish Pavilion forms a part – I incorporated the space outside the pavilion by reading certain patterns of movement by way of ramps, staircases, and terraces. You could say that the skin of the building does not consist of some particular architectonic material, but of movement. My aim has not been to create resistance against the existing architecture. To me, it is much more crucial that the architecture represent an ideology and certain value systems, that all its static qualities are thoroughly cultural constructions. Also the idea of the spirit of the place, genius loci, is merely a culturally determined construction that I, through my works, tamper with.