Review Art exhibition ARoS Museum, Århus (DK)

‘Rainbow’ by Olafur Eliasson

Copyright Art work: Olafur Eliasson

Copyright Photography: Daniela Haberz, M.A. for AØH Art Consultancy Haberz e.U.

Olafur Eliasson’s Installation ‘Rainbow’ located on the roof of ARos Art Museum spans in a circled shape on top of the roof of ARoS Museum in Denmark.

Approaching the museum over a concrete landing in front of the gallery ticket sale, I visited first the two exhibition, one a retrospective by Robert Maplethorpe,


Copyright Robert Maplethorp, Documentary Film at ARos Art Museum, Århus, DK

secondly the presentation by Greyson Perry, which did not convince me entirely as since his nomination for the Turner Prize with his mosaic vases he did not really develope any further in his ouvre, which showed at the same exhibition level.

as well as a sculpture by Ron Mueck,


‘Boy’ by Ron Mueck @ ARoS Art Museum, Århus (DK) Copyright: the artist Photographic Rights: Daniela Haberz for AØH Art Consultancy Haberz E.u.

whose work bears similarities to the works by Tim Nobel and Sue Webster, which I first saw at White Chaple Gallery in 1997. Their sculptures were much smaller and showed an aged couple reminding on cave people and therewith the evolution of mankind.


Self Portrait by Robert Maplethorp @ ARoS Art Museum, Århus, DK

This could as well be referenced to Mapplethorp’s photographic work which shows his finger pointing into an invisible distance referring to God’s creation and finger point to Adam, as well as the evolution of mankind,  documented on the Sistine Chaple Ceiling.

Whilst Tim Nobel & Sue Webster rather showed the evolution from Neanderthal cave people the evolution to the first man, Mapplethorp’s work portrayed famous celebrities of the art world be it artists, art collectors or his first love Patti Smith.


Self-portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patty Smith @ AROS Museum in Århus, DK

The documentary film functioned similar to the box of Pandora, best known from the film Mullholland Drive which starts in a hotel room out of a box, out of which Kubrick’s story evolves, only to in the end of the film be returning into this box leaving the viewer with nothing else but the imagery of the box. In Mappelthorpe’s documentary he shows little film cameras from the sixtees and the short stories evolve out of this camera shown until the people portrayed go back in this filmic portrayed stories.

The stories entrance opens up similar like the camera lenses of the Musée the Monde d’Arab in Paris, where the lenses open and shut close by the sunlight like a camera lense works.

The little stories of friends and colleagues as well as collectors seem to be caught in this small stories, shut close by the camera lense, making us forget what we’ve seen until the next filmic portrait evolves. The marble sculptures shown in the rooms surrounded by Maplethorps’ photographic work remind of the marble sculptures first seen in Rome at the Vatican in 1994, where Michelangelo was lying sideways on a stone plinth facing the visitors.

Back to Mapplethorpe’s exhibition we can see that references can be seen everywhere and like I always say: ‘Patience and time is needed to fully understand what artists mean by their works.’

The visitor is even more challenged when the artist him- or herself can not answer anymore and has to rely upon the curator’s knowledge.

Going back to my first reviewed work the roof ‘Rainbow’ sculpture by Olafur Eliasson, situated on the roof top on the ninth floor of the ARos Museum in Århus, Denmark.

An oval shaped plexi-glass work with rainbow coloured plates running around the circles of the roof top. Inside it feels like you would wander around a real rainbow that just has been switched from being up in the sky temporarily being put in shape for visitors until going back floating in the air as a real rainbow again.

Like in Eliasson’s works immanent always a temporary nature, that can’t be properly caught by documentation photography.

However, always with a socially immanent side to it, like at TBA21 a project that engaged young fugitives giving them a fresh start in their country they have reached battled from war and other terrifying problems we can’t even imagine. However, is it always possible to save all is the question we have to pose ourselves? Can these projects temporarily be continued or is the end of a project the end of the green light for fugitives, which the main intention of the green lamps was and furthermore are collectors aware, which impact a work like this brings with it namely the support of the community that’s lower in ranks in our world, respectively is it the artist’s way to transfer this burden layed on him creating such a project simply to be forwarded to the next person in line?

Another well known work by Olafur Eliasson was the ‘Sun’ shown at Tate Modern in 2003. The work ‘Sun’ was presented at Tate Modern in the framework of Tate Commissions sponsored by Unilever, who later sponsored an installation by Rosemary Trockel and under the new patronage UBS, which succeeded Unilever’s sponsorship Ai Wei Wei was shown in the Turbine Hall, to be referenced to Olafur Eliasson, a project involving and co-operating with a community, who usually would not be able to get work easily otherwise.

Therewith escaping their boundaries for a short period of time, getting engaged with the arts, learning by doing, until they might be able to realise their own projects which also was shown in the kids educational  group on the level minus two, where young kids could engage with the art shown and get a first approach to the art world by drawing works on show.

The downside that unfortunately often prevails is the end of the project which returns most of their workers to their pre-designed path in their old surroundings.

Back to the work ‘Sun’ by Olafur Eliasson which as well was a participatory with a mirrored half that focusing with your eyes made an entire sun out of it. People gathered underneath on pillows to be mirrored on the ceiling themselves. One could say that Eliasson’s work created an entity that fascinates the crowd but at the same time, as well makes addicted to stay in this mesmerising surrounding loosing track of the real world as well as time only to return to the everyday mode a bit later.

To further describe the work ‘Rainbow’ by Olafur Eliasson at ARoS Art Museum, it can be said, that the circle made of plexi-glass plates, running in circle in different shades of colour like a succession of colour that reaches out to the Sky into a real rainbow, dissolving the work per se into a coloured mist that creates and lifts the entity back to an element nature produced and is brought back to nature only for a short while until it gives way to the ‘Sun’ by Eliasson at Tate Modern in London. The journey between his works seem endless. However, participating in creation or documentation of the works by Olafur Eliasson this leads to new projects and like in the case of Ai Wei Wei, the craftsmen and craftswomen in the factory used to produce the sunflower seeds made of porcelain painted by the factory workers can be either seen positive as new work comes to life or the negative side would be exploiting people, who are used to cheap labour workers.

This issue can be seen as a possibility to engage with a group as an artist that help him or her in the studios like with well known artists with a new project technicians and workers can participate in.

In the case of Baldessari who engaged ‘Sunday Painters’, namely painters who usually paint on the streets but know their craft who produced part of his works. This can also be linked to the Sistine Chaple Cealing where the corner spandrells might be painted by the Dutch group of painters as in the spandrell of Judith and Holophernes the head brought to the queen resembled Michelangelo’s head which might have resulted out of his double engagement between the church and one of the famous ruling families ‘de la Rovere’ out of which Michelangelo himself came and by whom he was paid as well not to starve on the street.

The issue of genuity of paintings or craftmade objects are an important point for our consideration.
Is the worker paid with a work of art that isn’t signed by the artist himself, left with nothing for their work as usually unpaid work, is renummerated with this and knowledge given to those workers, they can use for the future. The problem underlying projects be it art projects or normal contractor’s work is the issue of health insurance. Head of projects therefore have to find a way not to part with their team immediately but try them to continue the initiated projects after the head of project left.

The main conclusion and point I am trying to get across is the continuity that should prevail and not a short contracter’s working environment.

All in all it can be said that a visit to Århus, Cultural Capital in Denmark in 2017 is worth a visit but you should carefully book your journey not to get lost in a time-loop.


DOKK1 Library in Århus, Denmark

When you are there also check out DOKK 1 a newly built library and best get a tour to find everything more easily, like I did with my Internations Network.

All my best wishes and let me know if you have got further enquieries.

Daniela Haberz,M.A.

Mobile: +43 (0) 664 182 8678


Art Consultant, Curator and freelance art critic for AØH Art Consultancy Haberz, E.u.

If not indicated otherwise all photographic rights: Daniela Haberz, M.A. for AØH Art Consultancy Haberz e.U.