Laura Bianchessi visits The Louis Vuitton Foundation, the brand-new Parisian space for contemporary art designed by the architect superstar Frank O. Gehry, which is currently exhibiting Olafur Eliasson: Contact, Eliasson’s last masterpiece.
Anticipated as the new Weather Project, the illusory sun installed in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in 2003, Eliasson’s latest work doesn’t disappoint, even exceeding expectations. Specifically conceived for the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Contact succeeds in transporting the visitor in a sublime intangible world far away from everyday life and worries.
The exhibition consists mainly in two “caves” where games of lights and mirrors distort the perception of reality. The first is cold, filled with white light and black shadows, the other is delineated by a thin orange line that transforms the space into a warm field. These spaces are connected by dark passages and archways where a meteorite and optical devices further investigate the mechanism of perception and the concept of space. The path ends with a fountain immerse in the darkness, illuminated every few seconds by a sudden flash reveling impossible shapes, different at any glance.
Eliasson’s contribution to the Louis Vuitton Foundation is not limited to this amazing temporary exhibition – it is embedded in the architecture structure itself. In fact, Inside the horizon is a permanent installation composed of forty-three columns illuminated from the inside placed along the Foundation pool. Covered on two sides with mirrors and on one side by a yellow glass panel, the columns play with the visitors walking among them, and nobody can resist the temptation of a selfie to fix for ever the memory of this magic atmosphere.
The Foundation also showcases its own collection, with artworks of renewed international artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Sigmar Polke, Isa Genzen and Nam June Paik.
If you are in Paris don’t miss the opportunity to experience the unique piece of one of the most talked about artists of the moment and discover the new impressive arts centre.
There’s only one drawback, which is the position. The Louis Vuitton Foundation is relatively far from the city centre, next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, the famous park on the west side of Paris.
Olafur Eliasson: Contact will be on view at The Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, until February 23th.