Olafur Eliasson

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Moss Wall (1994)

Olafur Eliasson’s Moss Wall (1994) is a minimalist installation made out of reindeer moss which is native to the northern regions, including the location where the artist got his reference from in Iceland. The moss is woven in the wire mesh and mounted on the gallery wall. The work changes continuously, shrinking as it dries out, and then being watered which provokes it to expand again, and change colour. The work also has olfactory properties and releases a pungent odour.

Olafur Eliasson takes nature back to basic points and re-constructs it from that moment within the gallery environment creating work which could be considered natural and organic, taking materials from his native home. He makes us aware of how are surroundings are constructed, something which is natural, seems to turn into this unnatural form once it is placed in the gallery. This makes me think of our relationship with our environment and how we now manipulate different ecological environments to exist in a place which is not natural.

The carpet of moss is placed in this way by humans, and exists through our caring of it. This brings to mind the current issue with the battle between our cultures and the environment we live in. How we are now having to enclose and barricade nature to try and protect it from our pollution and over population.

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