Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner
Olafur Eliasson’s provocatively titled sculpture The house that made up its vision as it walked is an elegant, minimal, duo-colored crystal-shaped house structure that encloses a system of never-ending Piranesi-esque staircases made from neon tubes. An active sculpture, neon tubes light up at varying sequences, constantly changing viewers’ perceptions of the work. Encountering the work from above, the staircases appear as though they continually ascend and descend, but from a side view, they seem flat and disconnected. The twisted staircases lend the sculpture a certain techno-romanticism, giving a nod to the Renaissance era’s preoccupation with perspective. Also reminiscent of modernist tabletop sculptures, particularly Russian Constructivists, this work reveals Eliasson’s obsession with models, as the mechanism of the piece is visible and integral to the experience of the work.
The house that made up its vision as it walked, 2003
Argon mercury, Argon, 8mm glass, 10mm glass, and aluminum
17 × 17 × 17 in (43.2 × 43.2 × 43.2 cm); base: 4 1/2 × 18 in (11.4 × 45.7 cm)
Edition of 25 with 5 APs
Signed and numbered
Produced by Lisa Ivorian Gray for the New Museum