Skip to main content
Read page text

Adrift compass, 2019 by Olafur Eliasson

Driftwood, magnets, paint (blue, black, yellow, white) 38 x 134 x 24 cm

Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019

Photograph: Anders Sune Berg

Courtesy the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

© 2019 Olafur Eliasson civic society, a co-producer of the world in which we live – have a responsibility. I, as an artist, have a studio and I need to see that the studio is progressing in the right direction. I have a lot of responsibility with regard to how we gradually make a plan, step by step. How do we contribute to achieving the 1.5-degree goal that the governments all subscribed to in Paris? We are talking about this with urgency now; we’re pulling together scientists and artists and activists and thought leaders and all the rest of it. Why weren’t we talking about it with so much urgency 10 years ago? I think we have been growing into this. It hasn’t been articulated really well yet. It’s data-driven. The politicians talk, we look at these data sheets and we go, “Oh,

my god, what does that have to do with me?” It was so difficult to understand. Culture, I think, is just one of many ways that you can make it tangible, and you say, “Oh, this is what the ice in Greenland actually looks like.” Extinction Rebellion, of course, somehow successfully gave voice to our emotional need. How can artists become engaged in this movement, this moment, fruitfully and constructively, without accusations of tokenism or cliché or trivialisation, or just making a pretty picture to gloss over the reality of what is going on? We are going from being guided by the past to being guided by the future. Suddenly, standing on the shoulders of everything we know, the successes of yesterday, the things we have achieved, doesn’t apply

Issue 317

Resurgence & Ecologist


My Bookmarks

    Skip to main content