PRINT Summer 2010

Olafur Eliasson

I LIKE TO DISTINGUISH between the museum as a reality producer and the museum as a reality container, with the museum of the future taking upon itself the responsibility of being, with its visitors and the artist, a coproducer—of models, of reality.

Let me offer an example. In 2006, the management of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, diagnosed a crisis in the communication of its collections to the general public and, looking to an artist for inspiration and help, invited me to conduct what they termed an “infrastructural reassessment.” I was both surprised and enticed by the fact that the museum would trust an artist with this kind of evaluation. It suggested a new sensitivity toward space and its users—or, more specifically, toward the institution and its audience. My research centered on the embodied attention of individual viewers, exploring physical movement

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