Roadtrippers were among the very first visitors to see Your Rainbow Panorama, a major new commission from Olafur Eliasson, newly opened at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Århus, Denmark. The doors flung open at 10a and we ascended the steps to this spectacular new project, whose circular shape echoes the serpentine lines of the building itself—a handsome new museum designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, the same group who designed the new Copenhagen Royal Library, which we subsequently visited.
The Rainbow Panorama is a sculptural instillation set atop the ARoS like a diadem. Visitors navigate the circular walkway which offers a remarkable panorama of the city filtered through graded, colored glass: a new twist on the spectral city.
It's breathtaking. The horizon is articulated by sea, steeple, and street-scapes, and the moderately-sized city is entirely encompassed by the cartographic view afforded by one's elevated viewpoint. And there is an added frisson, the vertiginous feeling of having no immediate sense of a protective railing or balcony—the glass goes to the floor—to protect one from an imagined tumble from the sky like some retribution from some ancient, angry Norse god.
As Kaitlin Randolph's movie below suggests, to some extent Your Rainbow Panorama cinematizes the city: as we circumambulate through time, individual colors articulate city-views progressively, and one is invited to speculate on the symbolic relation of individual hues to the compass rose, or to the specificities of the cityscape framed by individual panes of glass whose hue visually cancels its complement.
The work colors its visitors, too, who often appear as sharp, dark silhouettes in the distance, then as color-washed faces in close proximity.
Eliasson's project is a remarkable culmination for our Roadtrip, since it includes themes which have preoccupied us: place, the city, cartography, panoramas, re-photography or re-imaging, and the proto-cinematic.
Images here include a view from within the work by Geoff Meyers, a remarkable two-dimensional panorama fashioned by Yoni Blumberg from scores of individual images, and a charming un-steadicam long-take by Kaitlin Randolph. Our visit was arranged by Caroline Matthews of DIS, Copenhagen.
- John Schott