Your Mobile Expectations by Olafur Eliasson

Your Mobile Expectations, an installation by artist Olafur Eliasson based on the BMW H2R hydrogen-powered race car, opens tomorrow at the Pinakothek der Moderne museum in Munich.

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For the project, Eliasson removed the car's body and replaced it with an ice-covered carapace.

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The carapace was formed by spraying water onto a framework in sub-zero temperatures (scroll down to see photos of the process).

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The vehicle is displayed in a specially constructed refrigerated room in the museum (below).

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The project is the 16th in BMW's Art Car series, which invites leading artists to work with the marque's vehicles.

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Your Mobile Expectations is a development of Your Tempo, an earlier version of Eliasson's Art Car that was shown at SFMOMA in San Francisco last year.

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Info from BMW follows:

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Olafur Eliasson – Your mobile expectations: BMW H2R project.

Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen and The Neue Sammlung – State Museum of Applied Arts and Design

Duration of exhibition: 29.05.–20.07.2008

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At his only museum exhibition in Germany this year, the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (*1967) will present his project developed over the past three years and entitled "Your mobile expectations: BMW H2R project" at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

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The final version of the 16th BMW Art Car, the outer shell of which Eliasson replaces with a fragile skin of ice, will be celebrating its premiere in Munich. This Eliasson-designed automobile, the BMW H2R, is a racing car powered by hydrogen that has been developed to achieve speed records and at the same time point to the future in terms of sustainable mobility.

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Olafur Eliasson, whose works are currently being presented in a comprehensive overview exhibition at the MoMA and the P.S.1 in New York, describes the debate relating to the hydrogen powered racing car in context with his artistic ideas: “By bringing together art, design, social and environmental issues, I hope to contribute to a different way of thinking-feeling-experiencing cars and seeing them in relation to the time and space in which we live. Fundamentally speaking, I don’t believe that objects exist in isolation. They are always part of a complex set of physical and mental relationships; they change according to the context and depend on the user’s values and expectations. They embrace relativity and the passing of time.”

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Olafur Eliasson has removed the outer covering of the H2R prototype and replaced it with a complex skin of two reflecting layers of superimposed metal spanning the body of the car. This shape is covered with fragile layers of ice. Thus Eliasson transforms an object of advanced automobile technology and industrial design into a work of art reflecting themes of mobility, temporality, renewable energies and the relationship between car production and global warming in a sophisticated and poetic way.

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“How do we give a tangible dimension to the fact that our engagement in the world has global consequences? How can we as consumers and creators of reality change the trajectory of transportation? Of moving? How can we put pressure on the car as an object?”

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As a work of art located in time, Olafur Eliasson’s transformation of the H2R–automobile is a design provocation that opens up debates about the profound impact of art and design in their contemporary social setting. “Traditional car design has defined the car as a desirable object, a fetish almost, and a commodity, depriving it of its relationship to its surroundings and to time. Car design has primarily focused on the most profitable way of facilitating and mediating physical movement. We have to challenge this, and I think the task is to reintroduce time as the key producer of our experiences. Reality then becomes temporal reality. This reintroduction will give us the possibility to perceive the car and the consequences of driving in relation to our own bodies.”

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To create and conserve the car’s ice coating, the vehicle is stored in a freezer. Over a period of several days Eliasson had the car’s exposed frame sprayed with some 2000 litres of water to gradually produce the layers of ice. This sculpture, which is in constant interplay with the room temperature surrounding it, is around 1.5 m high, 5.25 m long and 2.5 m wide. The mono frequency light located inside the sculpture attracts the eye to the interspace containing the icescape which is exposed to a continuous melting and freezing process.

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In Eliasson’s sculptures and atmospherically unmistakable installations one senses not only the conditions under which they come about and the impact of their energy but also the beauty of natural phenomena. It is it not until they enter the perceptions of the viewer that they complement each other.

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The exhibition is curated by Corinna Rösner and Bernhart Schwenk. Presentation: chezweitz, Berlin / Detlef Weitz, Roseapple An exhibition in close collaboration with BMW.

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Lars Müller Publishers have published a 336-page comprehensive publication accompanying the exhibition and documenting as an integral part of the project the many discussions, interviews and the two “Life in Space” symposiums.