Station: [11] Olafur Eliasson

This large hexagonal kaleidoscope was built by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The word kaleidoscope comes from the Greek and means "observation of beautiful shapes".

The translation immediately makes sense when you look inside the artwork.

The funnel-shaped, mirrored walls with yellow foil and inclusions of lava rock pick up the colours and shapes of the surroundings and reflect them back at the viewer as a multitude of nested images.

Due to the kaleidoscope’s narrowing shape, the space seems to gain in depth. There’s an impression of a cosmic world unfolding.  

Olafur Eliasson teaches us how to see. He questions the workings of the human eye and of human perception, contrasting the supposedly objective view with a multitude of perspectives.

In his art, Eliasson follows a great teacher: nature. His work is based on scientific phenomena and the laws that govern them.

There’s even a prototype of the kaleidoscope in nature: the compound eye with which many insect species are able to perceive multiple images and perspectives simultaneously. Olafur Eliasson became a recipient of the Kaiserring in 2013.


Foto 1, 2: © Mönchehaus Museum Goslar

Foto 3: © Heike Göttert