Olafur Eliasson: Public art made virtual

Olafur Eliasson: Public art made virtual

Olafur Eliasson: Public art made virtual

Date & Time

31/01/2021 - 30/04/2021
All Day

27min I BBC World Service: The Cultural Frontline I January 2021

Presenter: Nawal Al-Maghafi

Image: Olafur Eliasson, Caring Northern Light and Lucky Stone. Augmented reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

The Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson is celebrated for his playful and tactile works, from shining suns to melting ice installations. Yet with so many galleries closed in lockdown, he’s turning his attention to augmented reality. It’s now possible to download the imagination of the environmental artist to a street near you, via an app. But is it as good as the real thing? Reporter Anna Bailey pressed download and spoke to Olafur to find out.

Public art has long been the preserve of men but feminist artists Nikki Luna from the Philippines and Bahia Shehab in Egypt challenge the patriarchy, by taking up space on the street and online. Nikki Luna’s audio-visual installations confront gender-based violence with the voices of marginalised women, while Bahia Shehab’s street art foregrounds the female form and addresses consent.

Mexican-American portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum gives us a glimpse of the private moments behind public service. She talks to Nawal about why her latest project honours healthcare workers at the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.

Plus, we hear how a group of artists have been inspired to create a giant painting that highlights growing insecurity and political instability in Nigeria.


BBC World Service / BBC I-Player – available as download