Olafur Eliasson: ‘I brought a frozen chicken into art school’ | Food – Google Alerts

When the Tate contacted Olafur Eliasson to suggest the gallery stage a retrospective of his work, the artist’s response was somewhat out of the ordinary. He loved the idea of the show: Tate Modern will always have a place in his heart, for it was in 2003 in its Turbine Hall that he staged the installation for which he’ll probably now always be best known – the Weather Project. (Eliasson, you’ll remember, somehow induced a giant sun to rise inside that vast and ordinarily sepulchral space.) But why would he want to limit himself only to his art? “I told them I wanted to do the restaurant as well,” he says. How did that go down? “Well, they have two million visitors, so for me to want to tweak their restaurant …” He smiles at his temerity. “But they were very good about it. ‘Oh, that’s great,’ they said.”

At Eliasson’s studio in Berlin, food is integral to his practice. Since 2005, its top-floor kitchen has prepared and served organic, vegetarian meals to be shared each day by all those who work there (about 80 people). “Eating together gives us a space in which we can have conversations,” he tells me, when we meet at the Tate’s temporary Studio Olafur Eliasson Kitchen for lunch on the day the retrospective finally opens. “We like to say that when we eat we have the ‘why’ discussions, and when we’re working, we have the ‘how’ discussions. As my studio has become bigger, it has also become necessary to make sure there is communication: people might work on the same project, but they might not talk together during the day.”

My parents would give me a can of baked beans, and on a good day I would get a sausage on the side

But his thinking goes wider on this. Institutions of all kinds, he believes, need to consider community and how best it might be fostered. The pioneering Californian chef Alice Waters, who wrote the foreword to his studio’s 2013 cookbook, is a friend. “As she tells me, in the US, more than…

Read the full article at https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/aug/19/olafur-eliasson-frozen-chicken-art-school-tate-modern