Summer Newsletter: Art in Boijmans and in the port of Rotterdam
20 June 2010

Olafur Eliasson - Notion motion

In 2005 the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson developed a work especially for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in which the central theme was the visualisation of light waves. Notion motion, an interactive installation covering 1,500 m2, can be seen again this summer.

Olafur Eliasson, Notion motion, 2005, donation: H+F Patronage 2005, material: wood, rubber, lamps, water, 3240 x 1034 cm (L x B)
Olafur Eliasson, Notion motion, 2005, donation: H+F Patronage 2005, material: wood, rubber, lamps, water, 3240 x 1034 cm (L x B)

22 May - 17 October 2010

Notion motion by Olafur Eliasson consists of three parts that explore the interaction between water, light and the viewer.
Eliasson has created an enchanting work with simple means. He immerses the viewer in a simple and minimal yet overwhelming visual experience created by the interplay of light and water. Light emanating from various angles plays with the water in a surprising manner and creates an enchanting spectacle.

Over the past fifteen years Eliasson has built up an impressive body of work consisting of rainbows, sunsets, waterfalls, aromatic walls, mist, beams of light and periscopes. He is considered one of the most important artists of his generation. Since 1995 he has had exhibitions in the world’s leading museums, including his highly acclaimed huge yellow ‘sun’ at Tate Modern in 2003. More recent Eliasson created four man-made waterfalls of monumental scale on the shores of the New York waterfront.

Specially for this installation in 2005, Hanneke de Man wrote an essay about Eliasson’s work. Her essay is included in the free booklet accompanying the exhibition Notion motion. ‘Eliasson’s work is about perception and experience. (…) For Eliasson, perceiving is not a matter of passively registering still images, but of movement and active involvement. To experience means: to take in the surroundings with your senses.’ About Notion motion she writes: ‘In the exhibition Notion Motion, perception, and reflecting on it, also form the two poles between which the visitor can move. Perceptual experiences of this kind are not just called up by the three installations separately, but also by the space in its totality and by the visitors present, who have a direct visual impact themselves through their physical behaviour.’

This installation was donated to the museum in 2005 by H+F Patronage, founded by the writer and collector, Han Nefkens.