At the canal of Moerbrugge, 3 bunkers remain as relicts of World War II.
The bunkers are massive blocks of concrete; inside, the outside world seems vanished. After staying inside a while, the light and reality strikes you when you come out the bunker. This reminded me of the allegory of the cave, written by Plato.
Out of this allegory the design unfolds. Every bunker gets a different function, which focuses on one organ of sense.
The bunker of hearing: A room lets the sounds, coming from the industry at the other side of the canal, resonance through the room, creating the idea that the industry is bigger than it really is. Another room absorbs all the sounds immediately, giving a feeling of loneliness. In the last room all the sounds of the landscape are focussed to the place of the listener.
The bunker of smell; through the rooms of the bunker water of the canal is transferred. The roof is opened, allowing specific herbs and flowers to grow inside.
The bunker of touch shelters a sauna.
2oo4, Moerbrugge, Belgium
At this moment Eliasson has an exhibition is as well the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin as in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. In both the exhibitions, Eliasson’s work shows the direct relationship between the viewers and their surroundings.
For the Berlin exhibition Innen Stadt Außen, Olafur Eliasson mainly focuses on the senses sight and balance. He plays with the perception of the viewers on their surroundings. Only in the mist rooms the dominant sense of sight becomes partly inactive, allowing the senses hearing and touch to define the surrounding.
The viewers of the Rotterdam exhibition Notion Motion become conscious of the possibilities for changing their surroundings. It is not the surroundings that play a central part, but the individual.
For this exhibition David Dooghe created a space in the exhibition space. The space had the dimensions of a single room of the bunker. The walls of the space were made of linen, and were used as a canvas for the drawings of the project. On the outside, the context and the concept were illustrated. Inside, the designs for the different bunkers were presented, together with a model.
By using linen for the walls and arranging the light to shine on the outside walls of the space, the spectators, looking at the drawings on the outside, created shadows for the spectators inside the space, a reference to the concept of the project: to the allegory of the cave, written by Plato.