The novel experience (for me) of chatting with BMW execs at the press review for Olafur Eliasson’s dual SFMOMA exhibitions was one of the highlights of “taking my time” to view the show. An artist who is not afraid to enter the mainstream, Eliasson purposefully engages our dominant culture and its relationship with the natural world.

In addition to the wonderful survey show curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn, senior curator of painting and sculpture, entitled Take your time, Eliasson exhibits a frozen BMW hydrogen car in a custom industrial freezer presented by SFMOMA’s curator of architecture and design, Henry Urbach, entitled Your tempo.   Outside of the freezer are Eliasson’s series of color photographs of Icelandic ice holes, or glacier mill, the increasing number and size of which spell a massive increase in the melt off of the largest glacier in the world. I found it poignant to encounter the following exhibition text in relation to these images, “from Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto, written nearly one hundred and fifty years ago at the dawn of the Industrial Age, “All is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.”

Imagine my pleasure in being able to personally ask a BMW executive about how BMW expects to create the hydrogen to power the car of the future. Imagine my feelings about his answer that all car companies are trying to figure out how cars will be powered after “peak oil”, which he put at 10 or more years off.

- Cheryl Meeker [Thursday, September 6th, 2007]


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