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Issue 87 October / November 2015

Compiled of past installations and site-specific exhibits, ¡DARK! explores the physical and metaphorical power of light in the face of darkness.

¡DARK!, exhibition taking place at the Centre for International Light Art in Unna, Germany, will run until Spring next year. Alongside Dark II – the co-exhibition interprets light and dark on a more metaphorical level and looks to explore the concept of darkness and the creation of surfaces of light. 

The dark rooms at the centre envelop guests, allowing the installations by Anthony McCall, Diana Ramaekers, Regine Schumann and Vera Rohm to become discernible only after a short period of acclimatisation. 

Anthony McCall: Meeting You Halfway II (2009)

Since the early 1970s, UK-born artist McCall has been known for his individual light installations called ‘solid light’ movies. The technique involves animated black and white lines, projected into a room filled with artificial haze to articulate two-dimensional drawings as seemingly tangible, sculptural shapes. Projected horizontally across a room onto a wall or – in the case of his latest work – from ceiling to floor, they envelop the viewer in a single, slowly moving cone of light.

Meeting You Halfway II combines and divides different configurations of two ellipses. McCall explained: “In three-dimensional space this creates a complex sculptural shape in a state of slow, continuous change.” At the same time it appears movie-like, continually changing and evolving  as the viewer explores it. 

Diana Ramaekers: Sensing the Light (2015)

Dutch artist Diana Ramaekers has created a new, site-specific installation for the exhibition. As with McCall’s, movement has a role in her installations through the use of two large mirrors. An artificial haze makes the light choreography become visible and the combination of three moving heads, LED spotlights, DMX control and moving mirrors creates a large light sculpture; with the light structures changing depending on the visitors’ positions in the room. 

The materialised light slowly makes its way across the room, along walls, floor and ceiling, occasionally grazing visitors, implying a tangible, physical body that is almost intrusive. Ramaekers' work suggests that light doesn’t just have a poetic but also a forceful, destructive character. 

Regine Schumann: Jump! (2012 | 2014)

Jump! consists of artwork Connect, Back to Back and additional artistic elements such as dance and language. Connect, Back to Back contrasts the other, exclusively black and white installations of the exhibition with its multi-coloured, playful aura. It is an installation made of wavelike acrylic glass. Kept in phosphorescent blue and fuschia red colours, the installation meanders across the exhibition room, inviting the visitors to take a relaxed walk through its space, offering new perspectives and confronting with a new experience of colour. Blacklight exentuates the acrylic glass, allowing the objects to draw lines across the room, becoming graphic elements. 

Architecture is the foundation to Schumann’s works and the idea that space demands and commands all her deliberations concerning colour, shape, light and staging. 

Vera Rohm: Night is Earth’s Shadow (2005-Present)

Since 2005, German artist Vera Rohm has created 66 cubes in 66 languages with the linguistic starting point of the cubes, a sentence from German scientist Johann Leonhard Frisch. With his wording ‘Night is Earth’s Shadow’, Frisch enforces a radical change of perspective in a concise and clear form: away from the countless different atmospheres of night, which vary depending on subjectivity, cultural, temporal, or geographical circumstances, into a cosmic approach of the phenomenon of night. 

In a variety of languages, ranging from German and French to Greek, Hebrew and Thai, artist Rohm causes the sentence to become detached from the sides of black painted aluminium cubes with an edge length of 75cm. Each language has its own cube; the sentences, shaped by laser, are lit from inside the aluminium cubes behind white matt glass. This way, the visitors face different cubes with each language shining in its own unique letter type. 

Around 20 text cubes are being shown in the museum’s central exhibition space, better known as the ‘columned cellar’, creating a forest of cubes. In the room’s darkness, lightened shadows will throw glowing rays.


Pic: Anthony McCall Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Köln / Sean Kelly Gallery, New York / Galerie Sprüth Magers, Berlin, London
  • Pic: Diana Ramaekers
  • Pic: Flo Fetzer
  • Pic: Maurice Cox
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