Thursday, 17 March 2011

Gregor Schneider & Olafur Eliasson

I came across the artist Gregor Schneider who creates disturbing and chilling environments for the viewer to experience. He has turned his old family home (in which he still lives) into a maze of soundproofed spaces - he builds rooms inside of rooms so that tiny passageways connect them, the walls shift and windows open onto blank walls.

He had a piece at the Whitworth Gallery in 2009 called 'Kinderzimmer' which was part of the show 'Subversive Spaces'. It is a reconstruction of an abandoned nursery from a derelict village and the viewer walks through a series of dark rooms - through to nowhere.

This is exactly the kind of artwork I love to experience, something that involves you. It all seems very dark and grisly, but I'm fascinated by the environments he manages to create and the atmosphere he is able to cast over the people walking through them. He says the work is not about making you fearful, but about helping you to reflect upon and overcome fear.

There is a piece at the Whitworth Gallery currently by Olafur Eliasson that I walked through the other day. It's another brilliant environment - you make your way along a path through a forest, like little red riding hood. The light, shadows and texture of the branches make it feel quite real and very enchanting.

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