With the support of Qatar Museums, Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s installation ‘Shadows Traveling on the Sea of the Day’ (2022), developed specifically for the location, met with the audience.

The installation overshadowed by the surrounding desert; allows viewers to look up and see themselves on Earth below, invites its viewers to “re-sync” with the planet.

Image Credit Iwan Baan

Eliasson advocates the role of art as a ‘channel of dialogue and listening’. He describes the installation “Everything that exists in and moves in the desert area north of Doha – animals, plants and humans; stories, traditions and cultural artifacts; Defining it as a celebration of wind, sunlight, air and radiant heat’’. “I hope that the space for self-reflection that I try to present in my art will provide alternative, productive means for us to meet each other across communities and cultures,” says Eliasson. Unlike activism, it marks a slow, winding and deep path.

Image Credit Iwan Baan

Audience interacting through mirrors; They watch each other explore space, witness others stare at each other, perhaps test whether they are the person they are looking at.

Olafur aims for the installation to break away from the outside world with the slow steps of the visitors and to establish a different connection with nature with its reflections in the desert: “This is a kind of reality check of your connection to the ground. While you are standing tight on the sand, you are hanging upside down from a place far above you.” And adds; “The adjacent mirrors also reflect the steel structures, creating a sea of connections. Reflection becomes virtual compositions that change as you move. What you perceive—the landscape, the sprawling sculptural elements, and the intermingling of visitors—becomes hyper-realistic before it becomes fully apparent.”

As you strengthen your sense of presence with work connecting to the oscillations between perspectives, the curvy structures disappear in the environment, dematerialize and become the landscape.

The installation aims to be “an exploration into the interplay of human perception and nature over the years”.

Image Credit Iwan Baan