Addis Compass

Olafur Eliasson, a Berlin based artist worksing in sculpture, painting, photography, film and installations has always associated with society in some way. As art for him, he explains – is a crucial means for turning thinking into doing into the world. I believe in that, truly art has the power to bring that change.

Eliasson has always been interested in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings for self. These interests have always directed his art. His practice is not only limited to museums and galleries but also include architectural projects, the broader aspect of art.

One such tool, which is most important to the urban art, is a compass. Yes, the one which tells us whole lot about the “to-be” structure at the site. But are you thinking what is it so special about the design?

The artist has not only designed one, but two different concepts. The first one as “The peoples’ compass”. This minimal style compass is made of Brass, Magnet & Steel wire and functions as a navigational instrument on the principal of mapping, movement, natural phenomenon & orientation.

Courtesy of Luo Xianglin & Chen Shengming.

Courtesy of Luo Xianglin & Chen Shengming.

The Addis Compass seems like a next step to the previous design. This design not only functions on the earlier principles but also includes the principle of body consciousness & feeling present. Due to magnetic poles it depicts the steady indication but on the same time relates socially. But how?

Courtesy of Jens Ziehe.

Courtesy of Jens Ziehe.

The compass upon reflection not only orients geographically and topographically, but also socially as it allows us to situate ourselves in a relation to a map or grid unlike any contemporary compass reflecting one’s position contextually.

The oblong, wooden octahedron, surrounded by a steel ring, directed along north-south axis by a magnet was exhibited in Time-sensitive activity with other works of the artist at Modern Art Museum, Addis Ababa.

The artist adds:

The particular visual sensation of the compass is something we all share: the compass binds us to one another through our subjective faculties of sensation.

by : Sanjana Malhotra

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