521 West 21st Street,
New York, NY 10011
Unfurling in a darkened gallery is an evocative light show of shapes, colors, and shadows that develops and vanishes, creating an ever-changing landscape of reflected and refracted light. Behind a large curved screen, viewers can perceive an orchestra of apparatuses: lenses, prisms, mirrors, and color-effect filters. Eliasson, who has long been fascinated by optical devices, aims to divorce the lenses from their modern potential for use in recording and surveillance and instead create something of beauty, what he bills as a radically analogue film. “I hope that ‘Your Ocular Relief’ offers a moment to exhale,” he says. “In this past year—at a time when it felt as if there were no release, no relaxation—I became convinced that we need a moment of relief, of beauty, of letting go, in order to conceive of a better tomorrow. Before you have hope, you have to have relief.