This morning Vuitton president Yves Carcelle announced that the company would hand over all of the holiday windows in 350 stores worldwide to a special contemporary art project created by the 39-year-old Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. "The level of cooperation and, somehow, risk, is pretty high," said Carcelle, "because we won't have any products in our Christmas windows at all."
Instead, Eliasson's Eye See You, a lamp shaped like the pupil of an eye, will stare out of Vuitton windows and create what the artist calls "a stage like setting on the street." The proceeds from sales of a limited number of the works along with Eliasson's fees for the project will be donated to 121Ethiopia, a charitable foundation established by the artist and his wife, Marianne Krogh Jensen, in Ethiopia.
"It's a way to show people that even small things can make a change," said Eliasson, who has adopted two children from Ethiopia. The first project for the foundation is rebuilding an orphanage.