Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun brings light to Manhattan post-Sandy

Post-Sandy Manhattan Skyline; Photo by Yubi Hoffmann ©Post-Sandy Manhattan Skyline; Photo by Yubı Hoffmann ©

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a
yellow spot into the sun.

– Pablo Picasso

((O)) Sandy – a whirlwind of broken dreams brings little suns of hope.

Once again, lights shine from a somewhat dreamy Manhattan skyline.
Same same but different as buildings gape empty, tearing
up dark holes in the dramatic scenery, reminding one of what went down.

In a matter of hours a ghost town was created when the city that never
sleeps fınally went to bed.


Out in Bushwick, we queued at the grocery store as people stocked up
on food and supplies for what seemed like the last supper. You could
taste the tension – an uncertainty of the moment hovering above,
approaching. Overhearing conversations made it evident that people
were deeply confused or maybe just don’t usually do a lot of home cooking.
“What are we gonna buy?!” was the most frequently asked question.

As it turned out, hanging around in Bushwick meant waiting for a storm
that never really came. But somehow we all experienced some kind of
inner storm – a darkness that rattled our bones. As we huddled, we saw
Manhattan die and sink into the ocean. In a moment of
sudden chaos, a power plant went up in green flames as skyscrapers
fell into darkness. On the news a huge crane falling to the ground
painted a silhouetted Armageddon in the sky.
We waited. Drained of energy, we slept.


In the morning we rose and it was all over. Reality was disconnected.
Sandy had hit with full force causing a collapse of the subway
system and a shut down to bridges. Like the Pangaea, we had slowly
drifted apart.

Every blow delivered by furious winds had torn deep scars in
pavements and left a flood of broken dreams in its tracks. A symbolic
take down of one of the worlds absolute power centres had taken
place, leaving damages of unforeseen proportion waiting to be stitched
together again.

Waiting naturally brings time for reflection and in the last days we have
all had to stop and think twice on the true meaning of energy
and light, how we depend on it and what we really use it for? In it’s purest
sense, light equals human togetherness; electricity and power being its
descendent relatives – our gadgets, their babies. It brings us to our feet in
the morning shower and wedges functionality into the common space. It is
the ultimate foundation for human concurrence – happiness in our
communities. Light is power.

If light brings people together then its absence leaves loneliness.
Patching together broken ends and loose seams and calculating the billion
dollar damages in our own backyard, reminds us of the global situation
and the lack of light in other corners of the world.

One out of every five people live with no access to electricity,
casting a dark shadow over twenty percent of the globe. Reaching out for
helping hands in a confused time, it once again becomes evident that the
question of light is a shared global concern.

This is a time to come together – for every broken dream revealed, a little sun.

Text by Gustav Åkerberg in New York City; Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.

The following documentation shows the effects of Sandy both physıcally and psychologıcally. On Friday November 3rd Team Little Sun go on a rescue mission to Manhattan armed wıth candy, confetti, balloons, candles and light to distribute them to Manhattaners in need.

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Little Sun

Photos by Yubı Hoffmann, Marko Khan, Anastasıa Logınova

Additional Information

For more information about Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun project click here www.littlesun.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.