These are no ordinary times. With the widespread disruption of trade show calendar due to Covid19, much of the hard-works of the exhibitors and the show organisers has either gone in vain, or have been postponed for appreciation. The much awaited Luminale – one of the largest cultural events held during the Light+Building in Frankfurt, had some of the leading lighting artists ready with their creative works.
Here’s a look at some of this year’s works:
Philipp Geist is an internationally renowned light artist. His video mapping installations transform architecture into moving light sculptures that challenge the viewer’s perception of 2D and 3D. His works include illumination of the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, the staging of the Azadi Tower in Tehran and the Royal Palace of Bangkok, as well as illumination of the Cologne Cathedral for New Year’s Eve 2016.
This piece of lighting art couldn’t be more topical. With the origins of the present pandemic traced to the human contribution in rapid progress of animals facing extinction – Facing Extinction by mbox created an installation which focuses on the threat of extinction for the varied bio-diversity. The source material is the photo collection ‘The Photo Ark’ by world-famous photographer Joel Satore. The pictures of endangered animals appear calm and dignified on the building complex, transporting the wonders of nature into urban space. These slowly and subtly begin to dissolve. Touching animal eyes crumble, beautiful, proud animal bodies break open and the painful and terrifying reality behind it becomes visible.
Digitization has given birth to a whole world of abstract data, media and algorithms. Social media, artificial intelligence, machine-learning and block-chain technology are challenging the firmly rooted social structures. Already at the end of the 18th century there were similar developments, as the ‘enlightenment’ was introduced into society as the rationalization of nature from which romanticism developed. Belonging aims to artistically examine how such a digital romanticism could look like today.
The façade of the Alte Oper, depicts a journey from binary, digital structures to sensual plays of light and a surreal experience of seemingly impossible scenarios. Beyond figurative representation, information carriers and wild spectacle, we glide through atmospheric structures of virtual architecture, where we might lose and find ourselves anew, connect and resonate.
The artwork, Intersection, was created for Luminale 2020. The inspiration came from the combination of characteristic architectural style and the skyscrapers of the modern era in Frankfurt. It discusses duality in an abstract manner and the flow of the animation enchants the audience inton a dreamy world. The classical meets modern theme can also be recognized by the visuals of porcelain contrasting with digital pieces. In regards to the music, the somewhat ‘classical’ composition is accompanied by a more modern sound design element. Though they differ in terms of style, they perfectly complement each other. Even the title ‘Intersection’ refers to these dualities, while it also implies that the audience is supposed be surrounded by projection in the middle of the square.
The video artist Vanessa Hafenbrädl, together with Anna McCarthy, conceived an audiovisual work for the Frankfurt Snow White Memorial. The well-known history of the Brothers Grimm is reinterpreted visually and revised in terms of content. The work questions the archetypes jealousy, vulnerability, domesticity contained therein and positions the fairy tale in contemporary discourse. The male saviour role is questioned, there is speculation about another form of saving, solidarity, charity and friendship instead of the usual patriarchy.
With Hafenbrädl’s in-camera technology and using glass and light splitting, cliché ideas are fanned out and displayed. The images help to lock and ultimately equalize ideals of beauty and characters. Breaks open, but also close again. The story moves in a circle – in picture and sound. The accompanying radio play is written and arranged by the British musician and artist Anna McCarthy. A repetitive ride that opens and closes. The musician is contributed by the musician Salewski. Music and voice overlays support the hypnotic multi-aesthetic experience and push the viewer into the subconscious, wherever there is complexity.