Olafur Eliasson's Your sound galaxy, 2012

Olafur Eliasson
Your sound galaxy, 2012

Installation

Stainless steel, glass mirrors, halogen lamps, wire

29.5 x 222 in

olafureliasson.net/archive/artwork/WEK107427/your…

Install view at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, 2015

Photo Anders Sune Berg

A group of twenty-seven polyhedra hang from the ceiling in two concentric circles. Each polyhedron is made of a stainless-steel frame and clad in glass mirrors with their blue-grey backs facing outwards; the mirror fill the interior with multiple reflections the single halogen light mounted within. As viewers move through the space, they see the light twinkling out through the gaps in the frames.

The polyhedra are organized into nine "families" of three related forms each. In these families, two of the tree are duals of each other, meaning that the number of vertices on the one polyhedron is equal to the number of faces on the other. Combining the two yields the third polyhedron of the family, called a compound. The outer circle is made up of the dual solids, while the inner circle presents the compounds, aligned between each pair. Beginning with the two pyramid-shaped tetrahedra in the outer circle -- the first and simplest set of dual solids -- the work exhibits a clear sequence in a clockwise direction, as the polyhedra grow increasingly complex and multifaceted.

The geometrical sequence featured here was developed by Einar Thorsteinn. Individually, the forms recur in many other works by Eliasson, but they are rarely presented as a single sequence. This makes 'Your sound galaxy' a kind of glossary or map of one strain of Eliasson's geometrical vocabulary.

olafureliasson.net/archive/artwork/WEK107427/your…

Install view at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, 2015

Photo Anders Sune Berg… more

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