Art is meant to be engaging- one of its purposes is to make viewers think and feel. Why not open this experience up to anyone who happens to walk by, rather than limit it to an elite few? Street art is the typical iteration of this model of art in public spaces, however a new breed of contemporary sculpture in historical landmarks is blowing this genre wide open in terms of innovation.
Enter Olafur Eliasson, a world-renowned sculpture and installation artist from Denmark. Eliasson is most known for his extremely innovative use of light, space, and water to create entirely unique in-person experiences. His most recent work as the guest artist at the Palace of Versailles instantly grabbed my attention.
Beyond the use of space as Eliasson's subject, the focus of his method is on engaging other people in every step. This includes his studio of ninety innovators of different trades, and his hope of interacting with viewers. His TED talk offers more on Eliasson's goal in future work of moving the border between producer and consumer:
We need more artists invested in utilizing the ideas and perceptions of viewers as much as their own knowledge. I believe that these engaging artists are cropping up more and more, and often come with the territory of installation or public art. This intellectual engagement is necessary to push boundaries- the stereotype of the completely introverted, averse to collaboration artist is soon going to be in the minority.