Olafur Eliasson has a penchant for putting things where they don’t belong. In a 2008 solo show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Danish-Icelandic artist brought his native Scandinavian atmosphere and terrain inside, turning galleries into what felt like limitless spaces of light. The same year, he installed four waterfalls in New York’s East River. In 2012, he hung a mock sun from the ceiling of the Tate Modern in London.
Eliasson’s latest site-specific immersion is at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which sits on a bluff above the Øresund, a 45-minute train ride north of Copenhagen. The artist trucked in dirt and rocks and built an artificial stream inside the museum, turning an entire wing into a sloped riverbed that mirrors the building’s natural surroundings. Visitors can tromp their way through the loose rocks and pebbles, all the while half-wondering, Where exactly am I? “We’re not just bringing Iceland to Louisiana,” Eliasson says in an interview in the show’s catalog, “we’re also bringing Louisiana to Iceland—or we’re mixing up the elements and making them fluid.”
If you can’t visit the show, take a moment to hear the sounds of boots on wet gravel echoing in the halls of one of the art world’s most prestigious institutions.