Artist Olafur Eliasson on the Importance of Cooking and the KitchenGabe Ulla
The Copenhagen-born, Berlin-based artist Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) has said that his art should allow people to see themselves sensing. By thoughtfully harnessing the natural elements, Eliasson creates works that make you take note of your place in the physical world around you. Storied projects from his career include an installation of man-made waterfalls along the New York City waterfront (one critic described them as “remnants of a primordial Eden, beautiful, uncanny signs of a natural nonurban past that the city never had”) and a takeover of the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, during which he filled the room with mist and placed a massive circle of monofrequency lights on the wall to mimic the sun. The effects of his art are often visceral and sublime.
You may be wondering why Eliasson is appearing in a space dedicated to the world of chefs and cooking. It’s a fair concern for which there’s an easy explanation: Eliasson’s studio in Pfefferburg, Berlin has a very special kitchen. In it, he and his kitchen operators Asako Iwama and Lauren Maurer have not only developed a space that serves as an example of mindful and flavorful cooking — with little resemblance to your average office cafeteria, or even kitchen staff canteen — but also a space dedicated to exploring our relationship to eating and cooking.