Art? Surely it is something one plays with, jumps on or climb! Indeed, this is what you can look forward to at Ordrupgaard. The museum has recently added an art playground to its grounds where children and the young at heart can have fun in the open air. The project, which is to run over a period of three years, is being realized thanks to a grant of DKK 16.9 million from Nordea-fonden.
The works in the Art Playground are designed to encourage children and adults to use art in a freer way than is possible in the traditional museum space, and you are welcome to explore and run and hide in them! The Art Playground thereby represents a new and different museum experience.
The artworks will be carefully integrated into the landscape of the museum park during 2016-18. The launch of the first artwork, Vær i vejret (Weather the weather) by the internationally renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson was celebrated with a tremendous garden party and was a brilliant success amongst the museum’s youngest visitors. The three other works, which will be created for the Art Playground over the coming two years, consist of a water pavilion by the Danish artist Jeppe Hein, a labyrinthine bamboo construction by the US artist duo Doug and Mike Starn, and a teahouse in the park’s treetops by the Japanese architect Terunobu Fujomori.
Vær i vejret
With his impressive sculpture Olafur Eliasson enters into a dialogue with the weather. Every time the wind changes direction, the bright bronze ring emits a light fog that rolls through the park and immerses everyone and everything nearby.
The art of exhibiting the wind
Vær i vejret focuses on the aspects of our environment to which we usually do not pay attention. Olafur Eliasson will show the wind that blows across the meadow, and the storm that shakes the giant trees in the park. The fog from the ring will thus render visible the weather conditions and the atmosphere in Ordrupgaard’s old garden. Olafur Eliasson says: “Works of art that are displayed outdoors are inevitably exposed to the elements, so whether we like it or not, the weather will always be a part of the work. The idea behind Vær i vejret is to highlight this invisible element – to draw people’s attention to the air, the weather, the seasons and the atmosphere in the park.”
Shared sensory experiences
Vær i vejret has a playful character, encouraging experiences and interaction. If you choose to step fully into the work, you will lose your bearings for a moment and will have to grope your way. Children and adults can walk through the ring, hide and disappear in the fog, or step back and consider it from a distance. According to Olafur Eliasson, art arises in the interaction between the work and the viewer: Vær i vejret allows you to become enveloped in fog, together with whoever happens to be nearby. Shared sensory experiences like this not only give rise to a dialogue about art itself, but also encourage talk about the different ways that adults and children experience the work, the surroundings and nature.
Nature, weather and climate change
For many years now, Olafur Eliasson’s great interest in nature and the weather has formed the focal point of his art. Many people remember The weather project (2003), in which Eliasson filled the enormous turbine hall of Tate Modern with mist, under a giant sun of warm yellow light and reflective foil – or The New York City Waterfalls (2008), in which he created four artificial waterfalls in the East River of Manhattan. Social and climatic conditions have long been a central concern for the artist; in 2012, he founded the social enterprise Little Sun, which manufactures solar lamps and solar-powered mobile phone chargers, and in connection with Ice Watch (2014), he placed twelve large blocks of ice from the Greenland ice sheet in Copenhagen’s City Hall Square to raise awareness of climate change.
Olafur Eliasson, Vær i vejret, 2016. Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Vær i vejret (Weather the Weather) will be turned off between 1st of November and 1st of April due to the danger of damage to water pipes in case of night frost.