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Olafur Eliasson

Room for one color , 1997

Monofrequency lights
Dimensions variable

In Olafur Eliasson’s Room for one color (1997) we actually only see one color. The room is illuminated by yellow monofrequency light. In contrast to ordinary white light containing the full colour spectrum, it consists of a single wavelength at the yellow end of the spectrum. The room appears colorless because the light reduces all the other colours to a scale comprised of yellow. On the other hand, everything stands out with crystal sharpness because there is far less information than usual for the eye to process. After a while, the eye compensates for this deficiency by generating an excess of the missing primaries of red and blue – which together yield violet. So when we move on into the adjacent space we begin by seeing everything as imbued with violet.

*1967Copenhagen, Denmark