You Have to Be There

2000s Artists Education Exhibitions Youth

Matt Woods describes the transformative power of Olafur Eliasson's moss installation.

Olafur Eliasson, yes. Astounding. The thing is, it was because we've had certain exhibitions here where I don't think a picture or a photograph of it, or people with their cell phones, it doesn't capture the work. I don't know, when I think of installation art, Olafur to me is such a master. I can see in going to each room that the kids were transformed from the experience of being in the room. That's something—you can't be in a classroom and have a teacher show you that and get it. You have to be there, you know?

So when you're walking through this room and this big waft of the smell of grass, of nature, of moss, just sweeps in. It doesn't even matter that you haven't seen the moss yet, you have an immediate response. And then, to look over and see a wall of green—it's just amazing.

Take your time: Olafur Eliasson Members’ Opening, May 7, 2009. Photo © MCA Chicago.

Take your time: Olafur Eliasson Members’ Opening, May 7, 2009. Photo © MCA Chicago.

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Video still, Behind the Scenes at an Art Museum. © MCA Chicago.

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