Symbiotic Seeing

Large Solo Exhibition of Olafur Eliasson at the Kunsthaus Zürich

Venue Type:
Art Projects
Zürich, CH

Project Description

From January 17 to March 22, 2020, Kunsthaus Zürich presents a large exhibition by Olafur Eliasson. A new, room-sized installation forms the centerpiece of the exhibition and touches on a central theme of our time: the relationship and interplay between human and non-human actors on earth. The exhibition can be experienced exclusively at the Kunsthaus Zürich.

The exhibition “Symbiotic seeing”, which Eliasson developed in close dialogue with curator Mirjam Varadinis, deals with themes such as coexistence and symbiosis and aims at a fundamental change of perspective. Eliasson invites us to think not only about climate change – as a consequence of human action – but to understand the position of humans as part of a larger system. The relationship and hierarchy of humans and other species on earth is to be critically questioned and space created for other forms of coexistence. In doing so, he succeeds in translating these complex theoretical considerations into spatial situations that not only appeal to people rationally, but also touch them emotionally and move them physically.

In the central work “Symbiotic seeing”, tiny swirls, currents and eddies form above the heads of the viewers, as the fog reacts to the body heat and movements of the people standing below. A sound component composed especially for the artwork by Hildur Gudnadottir can be heard in the room, played live on a cello by a robotic arm: A finger pointing to artificial intelligence and the creation of non-organic stand-ins for humans, which will shape our future as further actors. “Symbiotic seeing” offers space for reflection and sharing.

Technical Implementation

In addition to yellow and cyan laser systems from LaserAnimation Sollinger, a fog machine, a ventilation system, a robot arm and, appropriately, the sounds of a cello were used.


Pictures: Franca Candrian, Olafur Eliasson


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