The upcoming football World Cup is not the only reason to visit Qatar, as Ólafur Eliasson, known for his grandiose artworks, has also tapped into the desert’s potential.
With the eyes of millions set on the country for the football World Cup taking place between 20 November and 18 December, the Qatari authorities are keen to impress the public with the most spectacular projects imaginable. In order to attract more than just sports fans, Icelandic-born Danish artist Ólafur Eliasson has been invited to redefine the relationship between art and the desert in a monumental new project.
The installation entitled Shadows Travelling on the Sea of the Day is located in the desert north of the capital, Doha, near the village of Ain Mohammed. Accessible after a short jeep tour, visitors can truly feel like they are in the middle of nowhere and enter the tranquil state the artist imagined for the reception of his works. The circular structures provide a pleasant shade and thus shelter from the blazing sun, and have a mirrored ceiling, so when looking up, visitors may feel that they are looking down at the ground. In this way, the artist encourages us to deepen our relationship with the Earth, while the perfect circles stand as a reference to our planet.
Photos: Iwan Baan, Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles