Light Show Catalogue design
The Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, South Bank was a visual feast for the eyes. Words cannot express the sensations experienced at this exhibition. The show felt more like a theme park, that is not to say it was juvenile, because it wasn't, but it was fun. I love art and visiting the big exhibitions is a pleasure, a treat. On the whole most exhibitions are static displays of objects, whether they be on the wall or a sculpture or installation placed in the conventional white cube space. You view the work, you interpret the titles, materials and concepts. However, this show threw viewing conventions out of the window. You could not simply view the work, you became part of it.
You and I, Horizontal, 2005, by Anthony McCall
The gallery became a playground for the old and the young alike. Viewers interact very differently with each piece, as most works affect your perception very differently. The works act as optical illusions pushing and pulling your sensors. The audience is stripped back from their self awareness, their sense of being. We are led from through the blackest darkest corridors from room to room, feeling as we go, and wearing bags on our feet. At the end of the tunnel is the brightest, most colourful, joyous light worth all the uncertainty. Colours can warm and sooth. Some rooms play on shadows, and movement, like Conrad Shawcross' installation.
Slow Arc Inside a Cube V, 2011, by Conrad Shawcross
Conrad Shawcross' work was simple in it's concept, and intricate in it's design. A bulb rotated within a geometric patterned metal cube. The overall effect was a rhythmic pattern covering the walls infinitely moving and changing in scale. Personally, even though I knew the creation of movement was artificial, I felt unbalanced and my footing was confused. Overall, the piece made me feel very uneasy.
Chromosaturisation, 2010, by Carlos Cruz-Diez
My favourite piece was by Carlos Cruz-Diez. It felt like I was in an abstract painting. Colour envelopes the viewer in a maze-like space with lots of angles, and different volumes of light. The colours change as you walk through, they inhabit different parts of the space like in a composition of a painting. Pure colour and pure light was the only focus, there were no walls, no floors, and no ceilings.
Among these new discoveries for me, such as Cruz-Diez and Shawcross; were the old favourites in terms of coloured light, David Batchelor and Dan Flavin.
Magic Hour, 2004/2007, by David Batchelor
Model for a Timeless Garden, 2011, by Olafur Eliasson
The work I struggled with the most was an installation by Olafur Eliason entitled Model for a Timeless Garden. Using strobe lighting overwaterfalls in a sheer black room creates the most unsettling feeling. It is hard to focus on each fountain, and even harder to remain in the room for longer than a few minutes. This is the type of work that you love to hate, or realistically hate to love. For you can only withstand to view it until the nausea creeps in. However, despite the feeling of sickness, the room is beautiful, each fountain falls differently into unique cascades of water and shapes.
Overall, for me this was a beautiful exhibition, there were rooms I loved, exhibits I found hard to bear and individual pieces which provokes my senses to the limits. This was a show which questioned your perceptions of light, colour, and movement. I was left with a sense of wonder and awe. And the need for fresh air.