Olafur Eliasson work rejected by London Olympics


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Officials with the London Olympics have rejected a proposed work by a major contemporary artist, saying that the piece doesn’t meet their criteria. As reported by the BBC News, the work was intended to be a centerpiece for the London 2012 Festival, a gathering of artists and cultural groups coinciding with the Summer Games.

Olafur Eliasson -- a Danish-Icelandic artist known for his conceptually grand projects -- was expected to create an interactive installation where people would breathe on behalf of ‘a person, a movement or a cause’ and record it on a website in a personal ‘breath bubble,’ according to the BBC News.


But the artist’s application for a 1-million pound ($1.6 million) grant for the work has been rejected by the Olympic Lottery Distributor, an organization created by the British government to use National Lottery funds to create infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Eliasson is said to be working a new project, with funding coming from alternate sources.

The reason for the rejection appears to be related to changes made to the proposal since it was commissioned. The BBC News reports that the board of the Olympic Lottery Distributor found that the changes made to the commission could be ‘contentious.’ In the U.S., Eliasson is perhaps best known for the New York City Waterfalls, a massive public-art project involving a series of man-made waterfalls along the East River. His first major U.S. survey was in 2007 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


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-- David Ng