20 September 2016

From Greenland to Versailles: Olafur Eliasson creates Rock Flour Garden


The danish artist Olafur Eliasson is exhibiting rock flour from Greenland in the garden of the Palace of Versailles just outside Paris.

Since 2008 the Palace of Versailles has been organizing an annual exhibition of a major contemporary artist, triggering a fruitful dialogue between the historic surroundings and his or her’s artistic vision. For this year’s show, the Palace has invited Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson

Glacial Rock Flour Garden, Versailles 2016

Glacial Rock Flour Garden, Versailles 2016

The exhibition is organized in two parts: a series of outdoor works situated around the picturesque grounds, and pieces placed within the ornately-decorated palace. In the gardens, three monumental installations deal with various states of water — fluid, fog, and absence, as materialized by glacial rock flour from Greenland. 

Remineralization and high art is combined in this major installation. Eliasson's previous work has often crossed paths with geology. A prime example is his work “Ice Watch”: during the 2015 COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris, he placed 12 car-sized chunks of Greenland glacier to melt at the Place du Pantheon. “Ice Watch” was a collaboration between Eliasson and Professor Minik Rosing, whose work on remineralization was discussed in the article “Greenland’s Glaciers as Rock Dust Mills”. Now, Eliasson continues with the theme of confronting audiences with humanity’s role in destabilizing the environment.