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Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark; lives there and in Berlin, Germany.

The presence of absence pavilion (1/3 + 1 AP)

200 x 100 x 100 cm

© Olafur Eliasson 2019
Expo 2020 Dubai Collection
Cover photo: Roman Mensing in cooperation with Thorsten Arendt (detail)


This upright, rectangular bronze sculpture by Olafur Eliasson expands on the artist's long-term engagement with natural environmental phenomena and his involvement in issues of sustainability and climate change. The presence of absence pavilion is formed by casting a block of glacial ice from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord off the coast of Greenland, initially formed over millions of years from layers of highly compressed snow. The sculpture is an indexical trace of the Greenland ice sheet, which loses tens of thousands of similar blocks each minute as a result of global warming.

In the sculpture, the now-melted ice is only present as absence, leaving the mere memory of the ice within the artwork. This piece also expands upon Eliasson's investigation of chronology within his body of work: the vast time of deep cosmology, geological time and the tension between time's simultaneously abstract and tangible natures.

Olafur Eliasson: The presence of absence pavilion (1/3 + 1 AP), 2019
Bronze, 200 x 100 x 100 cm
Expo 2020 Dubai Collection.
Photos: Roman Mensing and Thorsten Arendt

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Text and information: Expo 2020 Dubai Public Art Programme.

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