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Life, 2021

The site-specific artwork by artist Olafur Eliasson, Life was installed in 2021 at Fondation Beyeler, near Basel, Switzerland. To create the artwork, Eliasson removed the facade that separated the building from the surrounding garden, extended the existing pond into the galleries, and invited visitors to meander through the exhibition along a wooden walkway at any hour of the day or night.

The exhibition is complemented by a microsite hosting entangled ideas, inspiration, and informative material.


In early summer 2021, cognitive scientist Katrin Heimann, assistant professor at the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University and a member of the EER research group, was invited by Studio Olafur Eliasson to collaborate with the museum team at Fondation Beyeler in conducting a series of in-depth, micro-phenomenological interviews with a group of specially invited visitors to Life.

The visitors included museum staff from Fondation Beyeler’s educational team; pupils, aged 13 to 18, from a local school class from the Integrative Profile at the Zentrum für Brückenangebote in Basel, all of whom are of non-Swiss backgrounds; and a few friends of Studio Olafur Eliasson.
Life lives and breathes through the experiences of its visitors, both human and non-human. I welcome everything visitors bring with them to the artwork – their expectations and memories, thoughts and emotions. Katrin Heimann’s micro-phenomenological interviews offer unique access to these experiences and create an expanded understanding of what the artwork does and is. – Olafur Eliasson

The website presents some of the visitors’ experiences in visiting Life

April 16 - July 11, 2021
Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland