Continuing the trend of statement-of-obvious as art, Olafur Eliasson has unveiled his new project at the Tate Modern – Little Sun. The artistic revelation – that without light, we can’t do anything – isn’t groundbreaking, but that’s the beauty of such artistic statements. They force us to remember what we take for granted, and in so doing reveal our powerlessness without them.
The project was shown off brilliantly, as museum-goers took up their own Little Suns – small, solar-powered lamps – and took to touring the surrealism section of the museum with the lights turned off. Forcing patrons to shine their own lights to reveal the treasures now hidden in darkness, the project fulfilled its purpose of driving home the importance of something so ubiquitous that we have no choice but to take it for granted.
The bright yellow Little Suns, besides making their appearance at the Tate Modern, can be purchased online for £16.50, or about $26. The Little Sun is powered by a a 6 x 6 cm mono-crystalline solar module that provides five hours of light for every five hours it is charged in sunlight. Each purchase of a Little Sun will cut down the price of one for someone who lives in a place without consistent access to electricity.