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Car in Iceland - not yet in river. (Foto: Bomsdorf)

KOPENHAGEN. Heute eröffnet im Berliner Martin Gropius-Bau die Einzelausstellung von Olafur Eliasson, Kurator ist Daniel Birnbaum. Eliasson hat sein Studio in Berlin und wurde in Kopenhagen als Sohn isländischer Eltern geboren. Alle drei Länder vereinnahmen ihn deshalb gerne für sich, was der Popularität des Populistenkünstlers (seine Ausstellungen und Werke ziehen Massen an) sicher mehr nutzt als schadet. Neben den etwa aus London und New York bekannten Rieseninstallationen, macht Eliasson auch stillere Arbeiten. So etwa die Fotoserie “Cars in Rivers“. Anlässlich der Berliner Ausstellung hier ein Auszug zu “Cars in Rivers” aus dem Text, den ich für das französischsprachige Kunstmgazin Art Nord über Eliasson schrieb (wer meine französischen Sprachkenntnisse kennt, weiß, warum ich den Text auf Englisch abgab. Er erscheint im Juni.). Eine Arbeit, die zur aktuellen Situation nicht nur Islands passt:

“Due to the low population density and a relatively bad public transportation system private cars in Iceland play a much bigger role than in many western European countries. In large parts of the country roads as known from Germany, Finland or France are missing and one has to drive on soil, snow and even through rivers. It is not that seldom that people get stuck when trying to pass a river with their jeep. The water might be deeper than expected, the ground less solid or the driver less experienced as his self-perception told him. For his latest series of photographs titled “Cars in rivers” (2009) Eliasson collected pictures of cars that got stuck in Icelandic rivers. Again a parallel to the situation Iceland and the world is in can be drawn. Underestimating the forces of nature, overestimating your own capability is what leads to get stuck. But there is almost always a way out, though it might take time, artist Björk Viggósdóttir tells me when driving me in her car on a solid street outside Reykjavík close to the Icelandic president´s residence in Álftanes. Being Icelandic and knowing the difficulties of driving in the country for her the “Cars in rivers” series clearly relates to the Iceland of today. “Either you manage somehow to continue the direction you were heading and get out on the other side or you have to pull back, not reaching your goal at this point, but getting on the ground again”, she explains the ways out of the mess to me. A move Iceland has to do as well right now. There are off course two more options: Having to leave the car behind to safe your soul or not being able to escape at all – a very unlikely worst case scenario.”

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April 2010
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