Shadowlessness: the exhibition, museum, gallery space

1000

100

10

1

Formulations on Practice

text, exhibition and installation

 

 

- TEXT -

The text was as a result of reflections from museology/curation classes hosted at the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, NL) with one of its curators, Steven ten Thij.

 

 

1000 - The event as such; transitioning from an exterior space of variable lighting conditions, we enter a container where light presents itself in a controlled and possibly uniformed manner; the museum, gallery, exhibit space. On entering we arrive in an interior area, an opening, an entrance space that fuels to act in sync with the exterior lighting conditions, this all to allow for a visual adjustment of ease(1), we are after all entering a space that is predominately a visual experience, highlighted as such by "The Eye" within Brian O'Doherty's "Inside the White Cube"(2). Subsequently, after the lighting transition we are now conditioned and washed, ready to accept the light within the deeper gallery, exhibit where the 3D objects situate, here we transcend into a space consisting of an altering perception of time. In particular, this time altering perspective arises from the stillness of the light sources that are used to frame, highlight or embody the objects. A stillness not present in the exterior world, where natural changes in the daylight aid our circadian rhythm, shadows suggest the presence of time, interpreting "to the eyes the life cycle of the hours and the seasons"(3, p303). In the event described, the space lacks this change in lighting and time.

 

"The outside world must not come in, so windows are usually sealed off. Walls are painted white. The ceiling becomes the source of light"(2, p15)

 

Casting itself diffusely, the source hangs, the panel of light, the interior sky of consistency, clouding over the objects umbrella within. 3D objects standing drained, an evenly proportioned haze presenting itself in a lost passage of time. Situated, the objects are within an event of no perceived ending. The diffuse panel remains, scattering the rain of light rays, suggesting that but a mere hint of a static shadow. An attached shadow which does but "lie directly on the object"(3, p315). The audience they wander observatory of this captured moment, for this is the set-up, this is the static stage in which they know only of which the objects to be. Interiority here, the objects know of no natural time. "The Eye" whom can be perceived as wanting to converse with the object. With no shadow, "an integral part of the object"(3, p315), there is no life which natural light, over the course of the day could bring, the discrepancies; as the audience takes in, balances, weighs, discerns, perceives"(2, p42) an object presented in one-time. All as a description for a stage, a perceived even spread of drenching light, even tints, the wash out of object shadows, created by a diffuse light source.

 

"By working absolutely in self-regulation without nature, it organized an unusual lifestyle with its own cycle"(4).

 

On comparison; the exterior versus interior diffuse lighting conditions. An overcast diffuse light exterior to the gallery space, presents itself as a heavily cloudy day; weather conditions of saturation, grey. Overcasting can also be used as a description for the diffuse light source panel. In the interior; the objects do not know of this day, to them a cloudy day is bright, a constant stream of being awake, a state of anti-fatigue induced conditions(1), comparative to that of the Arctic Summer, such where the male Artic Owl is at a continuous hunt, performing ones duty perpetually, repetitively(5). It can be questioned, to provoke the idea such; exteriority 'out' of the space is channelled 'within' the self-regulated interiority of space, replicating one to another, to bring the cloudy, subdued within. There is some stillness to a monotonous cloudy day, as there is stillness within the diffuse lit gallery, exhibit space described. The even colour tint, shallow gradient provides somewhat a flatness. A cloudy exteriority, drawn in for a cloudy interiority, is this an implication of the mood, the composure, the developed etti-quiet within the space imposed on the objects?

 

The fluctuating exterior natural light provides us with time rhythm cues across a day, the interiority described lacks this movement. How can the 3D objects 'react' or 'move' within a space lacking shadows, lacking a fundamental expression of time? The objects under these conditions, to the impermanent audience are fixed with one set of behaviours and demeanour; in a constant state of duty, of presentation, of smartness, of display. The need for the 3D objects to always look their best, they are given no rest, as to be in a state of continuous formality. "Perception from life to formal values is complete"(2, p14).

 

Both implying the bright, drenching of light over a scene: "Goethe says of the sun that it receives an immaculate view of the world "because it never saw the shadow" and the amateur photographer obtains flat pictures when he mounts the flash bulb on the camera"(3, p311).

 

A scene of a coating, soft, the diffuse light "softens the edge's structural role"(2, p22). A loss of defined distinction, fluidity, merging the gallery space and the object, washing together, the combination of both as one, absorbing flatness, a horizontal plane, merged together, bound together to produce an even set of aesthetics, enhancing the temporary audiences' sense that this is the only shallow conditions that the object knows to be, tethered together within the gallery space, in a sense of one-time, diffuse time. The condition as such somewhat hinting to inquire into shadows is to inquire into edges. Shadows produce an enhancement of the visual edge, bordering and framing the object. The light, the lack of shadows producing the illusory composition; object "posed between infinite depth and flatness"(2, p19), within that moment a set of conditions prevailing everywhere and ceaselessly.

 

Dissolving; within the diffuse moment the "image of the world... is all but unchanged... dictated by compelling perceptual conditions that prevail everywhere and always"(3, p305). Conditions of the space created by light, the flatness, timeless conditions that 3D objects endure under diffuse lighting. Through description, grasping at a delusory juncture of dwelling on the indispensable coordinates of the dynamics of space, time, light, and shadows. In shadowlessness the space is left.

 

1. Fördergemeinschaft Gutes Licht (FGL), (2000). Good Lighting for Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions. Available as pdf at: https://www.licht.de/fileadmin/Publications/licht-wissen/0703_lw18_E_light_museums_galleries_web.pdf [Accessed, Jun. 2019].

2. O’Doherty’s, B. (1986) ‘Inside the White Cube’. 1st Ed. San Francisco: The Lapis Press

3. Arnheim, R. (1974) ‘Art and Visual Perception, A Psychology of the Creative Eye’. The New Version. California: University of California Press

4. Duygu, K.A. (2005) Time Perception in Relation to Architectural Space. Department of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Available at: https://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB10609.pdf [Accessed, Jun. 2019]

5. Weir, R, D. (2006) Snowy Owl, Hitherland Who's Who, Canadian Wildlife Federation, https://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/birds/snowy-owl.html [Accessed: Jun, 2019]

 

 

100 - The absence of shadows, concealed in a closed space, in regulation without nature. Casting itself diffusely, within the gallery-exhibit the source hangs, a panel of light, the interior sky of consistency, clouding over objects that umbrella within. 3D objects standing drained, an evenly proportioned haze presenting flatness to the temporary audience in a stilled time. A captured moment, for this is the set-up, the static stage in which the audience known only of which the objects to be. The fluctuating exterior natural light provides us with time rhythm cues across a day, the interiority described lacks this movement.

 

 

10 - Absent shadows, concealed space, diffuse time, interior sky, captured moment

 

 

1 - Capture

 

 

 

TEXTUAL COLLAGE

"Diffuse lighting illuminates room zones or objects from a surface that radiates light in all directions... the lighting produces little or no shadowing" (FGL, 2000, p2)  "The outside world must not come in, so windows are usually sealed off. Walls are painted white. The ceiling becomes the source of light" (O'Doherty 1986, p7) The light, the lack of shadows producing the illusory composition; objects "poised between infinite depth and flatness"(O'Doherty 1986) The "image of the world, however, is all but unchanged, because it is dictated by compelling perceptual conditions that prevail everywhere and always"(Arnheim, 1974, p305) "Goethe says of the sun that it receives an immaculate view of the world "because it never saw the shadow" and the amateur photographer obtains flat pictures when he mounts the flash bulb on the camera"(Arnheim, 1974, p311) "By working absolutely in self-regulation without nature, it organized an unusual lifestyle with its own cycle"(Duygu, 2005, p37) "It is uncontroversial that physical objects are typically extended in both space and time"; the space here being within the diffuse lit conditions described, the still space, the time being that which the temporary audience appreciate of the conditions which the 3D object are under (Markosian, 2014) Can form follow shadows? In the diffuse, life prevails without shadows.

 

Fördergemeinschaft Gutes Licht (FGL), (2000). Good Lighting for Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions. Available as pdf at: https://www.licht.de/fileadmin/Publications/licht-wissen/0703_lw18_E_light_museums_galleries_web.pdf [Accessed, Jun. 2019].

O’Doherty’s, B. (1986) ‘Inside the White Cube’. 1st Ed. San Francisco: The Lapis Press

Arnheim, R. (1974) ‘Art and Visual Perception, A Psychology of the Creative Eye’. The New Version. California: University of California Press

Duygu, K.A. (2005) Time Perception in Relation to Architectural Space. Department of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Available at: https://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB10609.pdf [Accessed, Jun. 2019]

Ned Markosian.’Time’ Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. First published 2002, substantive revision Jan 2014. (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- INSTALLATION / EXHIBITION -

 INSTALLATION/EXHIBITION - The temporary (pop-up, 1 day) exhibition installation was as a response to the text and reflections on the museology/curation classes. The exhibition positioned in the outdoor space at the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) presented the opportunity to take into consideration the unfiltered, non-artificial lighting, the weather, the shadows or shadowlessness, further, the dominant position of the exterior clock provided a constant reference for a time represented with no shadows, in contrast to my sundial-like installation accompanied by the white light diffusing walkway. The exhibition was achieved with Mechteld Jungerius, Matilde Losi, Sofia Irene Marmolejo, Tasminder Marsh (myself), Anna Maria Mikhail, Rachel Moron, José Tomás Pérez Valle, Edoardo Tedone, Zeniya Vreugdenhil guided by Agata Jaworska and Tamar Sharif, with thanks to Van Abbemuseum for hosting.

 

 

©tasminder

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