'Mondo Novo' at Louis Vuitton Espace in Venice

Optical views & Olafur Eliasson

From 19 December 2014 to 27 April 2015

The current exhibitions in Venice, Italy can boast 'Mondo Novo: optical views & Olafur Eliasson' at Louis Vuitton Foundation in Venice, curated by Carlo Montanaro (Venice, 1946), on display at the Espace Louis Vuitton, a few steps from Saint Marks' Square, until April 26, 2015.

The machine designed by Carlo Goldoni, 'Mondo Novo', was built in the eighteenth century and is known as a phantoscope: it is a tool for projecting images and movies, the prototype of the next projector, which was used during religious and folk festivals as a means of entertainment.

Unlike the Magic Lantern - that filtering the light of a candle gave life to pieces of colored glass, but could only be used in the dark - the 'Mondo Novo' could also be used outdoors, therefore using the sunlight. This invention was a novelty for the time, so much so that several artists used it as a subject in their works. Famous is the fresco by Giandomenico Tiepolo 'Mondo Novo' (Venice, currently housed at Ca' Rezzonico), which documents the popular entertainment of the eighteenth century.

Both the Magic Lantern and the 'Mondo Novo' were used mainly to disseminate and share natural visions that, in those centuries, appeared more and more frequently: there were in fact some printers who, taking a cue from the classical landscape painting and from artists such as Canaletto and Guardi, reproduced, through etchings, those views of the world still unknown to many, which were called indeed vue d'optique. Thanks to a box for the vision, and the use of slides and colored cards, the perspective of these etchings was then amplified by assigning multiple effects to the projected images.

Among the current exhibitions in Venice, Italy, 'Mondo Novo. Optical views and Olafur Eliasson ', Espace Louis Vuitton Foundation, exposes different prints produced by the typography Remondini - specialized in creations of this kind and unique in Italy in achieving these 'vue d'optique', these tales of urban landscapes - now part of the collection of the Museo Correr and restored by Louis Vuitton in collaboration with the MUVE Foundation.

In the exhibition itinerary of this original exhibit in Venice, Olafur Eliasson (in the Louis Vuitton location) the world renowned Danish contemporary artist, dialogues with these refined views: the vue d'optique and the old box for vision, the latter one also belonging to the collection of the Museo Correr, are compared with 'Your Star House', a cutting edge kaleidoscopic installation created by the Danish artist in 2011. The fascinating installation by Olafur Eliasson is a contemporary reinterpretation of the optical treasures of the seventeenth century, composed of three large and irregular glass panels, positioned one above the other and supported by a scaffold, recreating the effect of a kaleidoscope.

The triangular opening located at the top of this unprecedented installation is infinitely multiplied by mirrors, creating the shape of a star whose size increases or decreases when the viewer approaches or moves away from the installation. The kaleidoscopic reflection of everyone's own image, combined with the star shape, will have a truly magical and surprising effect on the visitors of the exhibition at the Espace Louis Vuitton Venice by Olafur Eliasson! The particularity of the creation by Olafur Eliasson on show in Venice, just like that of a real kaleidoscope, is that, thanks to the combination of lights and colors, you will never have two images perfectly identical to each other..

Among the Venice exhibitions in 2015, 'Mondo Novo: optical views & Olafur Eliasson' promises to be an event not to be missed! The Espace Louis Vuitton Foundation Venice shows various works, different in their making and use, helping in giving an idea on the many ways to see the world in different eras.

In addition to the particularity of the subject, it is one of the few Venice free exhibitions for this period, another reason to drop in at the Espace Louis Vuitton Foundation in Venice!


Born in 1967 in Denmark, Olafur Eliasson lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin, and has been taking part in international exhibitions since 1997.

In 2003 he was chosen to represent Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale and, in the same year, he created the installation 'The weather project', now on display at the Tate Modern in London. Olafur Eliasson's works, exhibited in public places, are truly many: the 'Green River' (various locations, including Tokyo, Stockholm and Los Angeles); the 'Serpentine Gallery Pavilion' in London; the 'New York City Waterfall', installed in the summer of 2008 on the shoreline of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In 2011 Olafur Eliasson presented 'Your Rainbow Panorama', placed on the roof of Aros Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, and he worked on the project for the Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, for which he won the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture prize Mies van der Rohe in 2013.

In collaboration with the engineer Frederik Ottesen, Olafur Eliasson has designed and developed the 'Little Sun', a small lamp which can operate in those areas of the world with no electricity. The launch of Little Sun took place at the Tate Modern Museum during the 2012 London Festival and was subsequently introduced worldwide.

For his first solo exhibition at the Danish Museum "Louisiana Museum of Modern Art", which is still running, Eliasson has filled an entire side of the building with stones and water to emulate a winding river flowing through the rocks.

The exhibition of Olafur Eliasson in Venice, from December 19, 2014 to April 26, 2015, presents his futurist creation 'Your Star House' - reproducing the wonderful optical effect of the kaleidoscope - within 'Mondo Novo: Optical views and Olafur Eliasson' at the Espace Louis Vuitton in Venice.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff