Olafur Eliasson

The Unilever Series: Olafur Eliasson now on display at Tate Modern

Could the commission for Tate's Turbine Hall create its own climate

Olafur Eliasson’s mirrored interior for the Danish pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale was one of the few truly spectacular moments of the event, allowing kaleidoscopic glimpses of the sky and trees outside, and distorted reflections of other Biennale-goers. Prior to this, the artist was perhaps best known for dyeing Stockholm’s Strommen River bright green by throwing in tins of pigment which slowly diffused downstream. He is now the fourth artist to take on the Unilever commision for the vast Turbine Hall at Tate Modern (16 October-21 March, 2004), and there is much speculation about what he will do; a spurious press release issued by Eliasson, on official Tate headed paper, reported that the 110 feet-high hall had its own micro-climate, with clouds forming below the ceiling. This prank was reported as serious by several UK newspapers. Who can doubt an official Tate press release, after all? The full purpose of this strange piece of PR remains to be seen.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 140 October 2003