Art: Olafur Eliasson – Cars in Rivers


When Reykjavík’s i8 Gallery placed an idiosyncratic call for photographs of cars stranded in rivers, more than 100 photographs were entered. Renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (born 1967) selected 35 photos to include in the final work. Using these photographs he formed the series Cars in Rivers in 2009. By orchestrating the photos sent to him by jeep driving adventurers, Ólafur Elíasson pays homage to a cultural activity born out of a direct struggle with nature, since motorized exploration of the Icelandic highlands is only a recent experience. The book is also an homage to the “unknown explorer” and his extensive terrain, sublime nature. At the same time the series can, in a symbolic way, describe the economic crisis the Icelandic nation has been enduring. The metaphor of a half sunk jeep stranded in the middle of a raging river is unmistakable.