Feelings Are Facts
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Feelings Are Facts

In Feelings are facts (2010), Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong challenge our everyday patterns of spatial orientation. Vision functions as our primary, default sense for navigation, but this expansive installation induces initial insecurity in its visitors by radically reducing visibility, thereby suggesting the need to invent new models for perception.

Basing this project on a series of previous experiments with atmospheric density, Eliasson introduces condensed banks of artificially produced fog into the gallery, whose dimensions have been further altered by substantially lowering the ceiling and constructing an inclined wooden floor. Hundreds of fluorescent lights are installed in the ceiling as a grid of red, green, and blue zones. By permeating the fog, these lights create coloured walk-through spaces that, in Eliasson’s words, function to “make the volume of the space explicit.” The coloured zones introduce a scale of measurement in the gallery, their varying size and organization referencing urban planning grids. At each colour boundary, two hues blend to create transitional slivers of cyan, magenta, and yellow. Walking through the dense, illuminated atmosphere, visitors can navigate by using this intuitive colour atlas. Another means of navigation is the floor construction. Whereas movement on a plane sur face can be effortlessly accomplished, the sloping floor challenges visitors to readjust their balance, constantly having to shift their weight and body posture to counterbalance the inclination. This fact emphasizes the crucial role of the moving body in our perception of our surroundings. The further visitors venture into the space, the steeper the floor gets, until the point where it becomes a wave-like curved wall. Since the ceiling imitates this construction, a seemingly boundless space is discerned above.

Space and light bring life into existence. There is no space, unless given light and boundary. Space has never existed, but rather exists only in the specific feelings it induces. Space in reality, exists only in sensuality. With expanding desire, everything is managed with utmost efficiency. Our feelings and sensibilities are seeing facts in the context of habituated life. Not until shutting our eyes, can we feel the world from within, space and light will touch your soul.

Location : Beijing, China
Type : Space Installation
Time : 2010.04.04-2010.06.20
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
Curators : Jérôme Sans, Guo Xiaoyan