“Riverbed is running.” So tweeted Studio Olafur Eliasson yesterday – a poetic press release if ever I heard one – to announce the opening of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s latest epic installation. Something of a titan in the art world, having already created moon, he’s now built riverbed in the south wing of the Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art in Denmark.
Olafur says: “I am interested in how you connect this landscape to the rest of the world and ultimately, how you experience yourself within it.” Visitors can walk along the riverbed, across the pebbles and stones heaped about it, and through the semi-submerged gallery doorways. There’s also a mesmerising model room, full of glowing globes and prototypes. Contained within the stark white walls, the riverbed becomes momentous; there’s no other scenery to distract from it, so it itself becomes magical. Olafur points out that “the further away we get from the local context, the cruder the sensing becomes.”
Just as a river is ever-changing, so is this installation. “Nothing ever remains the same” tweeted the studio, with pictures of the rock piles visitors have already started building. It also retweeted @telescoper: “I don’t know what’s more fascinating, the work itself or the way people behave inside it!”
In other words, riverbed rocks.