Symbiotic Seeing by Olafur Eliasson

From 17 January to 22 March 2020 the Kunsthaus Zürich presents a major solo exhibition by Olafur Eliasson. At its centre is a new, space-filling installation that addresses a key issue of our times: the relationship and interplay between human and non-human actors on Earth. The exhibition is exclusive to the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Developed in close dialogue between Eliasson and curator Mirjam Varadinis, ‘Symbiotic seeing’ tackles themes such as coexistence and symbiosis and aims to achieve a fundamental shift of perspective. Eliasson invites us not only to reflect on climate change – as a consequence of human action – but also to comprehend the human being as part of a larger system. He sets out to critically interrogate the relationship and hierarchy between humans and other species on Earth, and create space for other ways of living together. He successfully translates these complex theoretical deliberations 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 whirls, currents and eddies form above visitors’ heads, as the mist reacts to the body heat and movements of the people standing beneath. Audio accompaniment comes from a specially composed sound score by Hildur Gudnadottir played live on a cello by a robotic arm – a gesture towards artificial intelligence and the creation of non-organic substitutes for humanity that will be new actors shaping our future. ‘Symbiotic seeing’ creates space for reflection and sharing.

© Photos: Franca Candrian, Symbiotic Seeing by Olafur Eliasson

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