Although The New York City Waterfalls will be the largest public art piece of Eliasson’s career, he has a few urban installations under his belt. When in Johannesburg for the 1997 Biennale, he rented a diesel pump and spewed water from a city reservoir out onto the street. He temporarily dyed Berlin’s Spree River green during the 1998 Berlin Biennial, and later dyed rivers in Los Angeles and Stockholm without any advance notice. Most famously, he installed a giant artificial sun in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London. It attracted more than 2 million viewers.
The Waterfall Obsession
Eliasson has been tinkering with water and gravity for at least ten years. His Reversed Waterfall, installed in Sweden in 2000, uses four sets of pumps to propel water to a level above. Like the waterfall he installed in the Neue Galerie in Graz, it makes no attempt to disguise its unnaturalness.