Little Sun at the Venice Architecture Biennale

At the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, Olafur Eliasson responded to David Chipperfield’s exhibition theme, ‘Common Ground’, with three works inspired by Little Sun. In two gallery spaces of the Central Pavilion, Eliasson transformed light into a physical experience. One space featured a new short film titled Solar Syokoy by acclaimed Philippine director Khavn. Made at Eliasson’s invitation, the film involves a merman looking for water in Quezon City, the Philippines.


The Little Sun lamp hanging from the ceiling in the same room was used to illuminate the poetic text, Knowing Feeling Acting, which was printed on the wall. In the other gallery, a new work created by Olafur Eliasson especially for Venice, entitled Common ground, featured two Little Sun lamps attached to a fan. When the fan was turned on, the individual Little Sun lights blended into a continuous ring of light.


Knowing Feeling Acting


We all know a lot.
How does knowledge feel?
And how do you feel that you know?
How do you feel what you know?
How do your feelings feel?
Your felt feeling!

Consult your feeling of being disconnected and being connected,
Being indifferent or committed.
Does feeling connected make you more empathic?
Does empathy make your surroundings more tangible?
Are your feelings embodied knowledge?
Does your body drive action?
What space makes you want to act?
Does your felt knowledge make space for others?
Your felt space!

There is a difference between wanting to act and acting.
One is thinking, the other doing.
Do you recognise the feeling of wanting to act but not acting?
Hold this feeling.
Then consult your own experience of empathic action.
Now pause.
How does the discrepancy between the desire to act and the experience of action feel?
Bring the pause to an end.

Olafur Eliasson