Olafur Eliasson, ‘Care spiral, Power spiral’, 2016, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

A loop of steel tubing has been coiled around itself to create a hanging sculpture composed of two concentric spirals. The outer surface of each spiral has been painted black, the inner surface, white. Hanging vertically from the ceiling, the spiral sculpture is suspended from a motor that causes it to steadily rotate. An illusion is conjured by the rotation of the two spirals: two waveforms appear to glide eternally past each other, one moving ever upwards within the column, the other forever descending.
The titles of these two works include the words “care” and “power.” The word “care” signifies the value placed in embracing the world, while the term “power” signifies control. Though these two values are usually thought to be in opposition, they can also create an effect of harmony in balance – as reflected in the relationship between the two different, yet similar, spirals.

About Olafur Eliasson

“It is not just about decorating the world… but about taking responsibility,” Olafur Eliasson said of his practice in a 2009 TED Talk. Eliasson uses natural elements (like light, water, fog) and makeshift technical devices to transform museum galleries and public areas into immersive environments. Prompting reflection on the spaces surrounding us, for Green River (1998-2001) he poured bright green (environmentally safe) dye into rivers running through downtown L.A., Stockholm, Tokyo, and other cities to “show the turbulence in these downtown areas” and to remind passersby of the cities’ vitality. Similarly, by installing four large waterfalls in New York’s East River (2008), he intended to give the city a sense of dimension; Eliasson also famously installed a giant artificial sun inside the Tate Modern (The weather project, 2003). Known for their elegant simplicity and lack of materiality, his installations are rooted in a belief that art can create a space sensitive to both individual and collective.

Danish-Icelandic, b. 1967, Copenhagen, Denmark, based in Berlin, Germany