1/24th Light Over Light | Volume Gallery

Volume Gallery, Chicago, IL, Nov 3rd – Dec 16th, 2023
Achromatic surfaces at first glance subsequently reveal radiant auras of subtly colored light. The concealed verso sides of the pieces employ surfaces painted fluorescent colors to reflect glowing ambient light on the surrounding wall. With these sculptural works, shades reveal gestures that capture a passage of light, simulations of the orange light at dawn or an hour passing in the afternoon. The work is minimal, presenting moments to hold still.

In the tentative
darkness of the
raisins there was
half of the
sun
then the shadow
of the past
From “No Sky” by Etel Adnan, translation from French by Sarah Riggs

Scenography of Space | Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg

SCENOGRAPHY OF SPACE, Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, June 2023

An inspiration for this installation SCENOGRAPHY OF SPACE, which brings together visual art & film, was Hans Richter’s film “Rhythmus 21”. Hans Richter was an important 20th century German artist and filmmaker known for his avant-garde works. One of his notable films, “Rhythm 21” from 1921 is considered one of the earliest abstract films ever made and has been called a “key film of modernism.” In this film, Richter explored the representation of abstract forms, movements, and rhythms. The film consists of trick moving geometric shapes and patterns. Black and white squares appear in fades up and down on the screen. They sometimes appear to move from one side of the frame to the other, sometimes from foreground to background.

Rhythm was shot in black and white and lasts about 3 minutes – as does the installation Scenography of Space. “Rhythm” had a profound influence on many subsequent artists and filmmakers and, as stated earlier, also served as inspiration for Luftwerk. Luftwerk’s artistic practice, with its emphasis on light, color, and choreographed projections, is conceptually related to Richter’s exploration of abstract forms and rhythms. Luftwerk’s work extends Richter’s legacy and bridges the gap between film and visual art. By incorporating light projections and techniques (in Luftwerk’s case: motors / fabric panels), they push the boundaries of the medium and develop a unique visual language, expanding the possibilities of film and visual art through their innovative and boundary-breaking approach.

And while we’re on the subject of perception, we’re also in NOW, our theme of the Hamburg Short Film Festival. An expanded concept of media art also includes the use of light and movement as artistic material. As early as the 1950s, artists of the ZERO group such as Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker were concerned with light as a creative medium. Their concern was to trace painting back to its conditions, namely in particular to light as the underlying element. In doing so, however, they left the technique of painting with paint and canvas and created spatial works that cast shadows or evoked reflections and incorporated movement into their concept. The result was works whose impression changes depending on the viewer’s point of view. Heinz Mack does not consider color or other formal components, but their spatial organization and movement as the actual form of artistic work.

Scenography of Space by Luftwerk also works as a space-related artwork with the integration of a variable viewer perspective. As the:visitor:walks through the space, there is no fixed viewer standpoint that dictates an optimal perspective of perception. Movement and orientation in the space is an intentional element of the visitor experience.

— Melike Bilir —


ZUVA | Harare, Dzimbanhete Arts & Culture

All Afrika Village, Harare, Zimbabwe

ZUVA a site-specific sculptural space that merges traditions of healing and architecture with contemporary color and light work. Inspired by traditional African architecture and realized in collaboration with local cultural experts, this permanent space of color and light is built using local materials and labor, as well as traditional Zimbabwean building techniques. A major accomplishment of the project is the installation of a 5KW off-grid solar system to provide power to the space, the Dzimbanhete Arts and Culture center, and its surrounding community. The space is activated by Dzimbanhete as a place for sound, healing, and dialogue.
Zuva means sun, but the Shona language dives deep into the conceptual Zuva, which actually means day, or better said, the movement of the sun across the sky during a day. The yellow exterior represents the sun. The blue interior represents the night. The dome ceiling is airbrushed with gradient yellow to blue, illuminated via color changing LED.

COLORSCAPES | Cheekwood, Nashville

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville, TN, May 7-September 4, 2022


The contemporary understanding of color has a rich and complex history, whether through the histories of plant-based pigments like indigo, or the development of color theory through the discourses of Enlightenment-era writers, scientists, and naturalists. One of the most significant examples of the latter is the Scottish artist Patrick Syme’s Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours. First published in 1814 and based on the groundbreaking work of German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, the book presented a taxonomic guide to the colors of the natural world and was a precursor to the modern Pantone system. Color—and more specifically the color classified in Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours—served as the conceptual springboard for a vibrant site-specific takeover at the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens in Nashville, TN. In this unique context, COLORSCAPES explores how the historic, yet fundamental scientific knowledge of color, perception, and nature can inform and connect us to the natural world today.
COLORSCAPES consisted of a series of dynamic outdoor installations and gallery interventions. Set along a prescribed path, the exhibition unfolds across Cheekwood’s Bradford Robertson Color Garden, Arboretum Lawn, and Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden before moving up to the portico of the Historic Mansion & Museum and into its more intimately scaled galleries. Inside, Luftwerk created a series of immersive color and light installations using botanical colors in combination with color changing light conditions that transform into abstracted, atmospheric experiences. Whether using natural pigments, exploring the phenomenon of light and color in the sky, or building on the histories explored in the gardens, the works installed in the galleries are informed by a holistic perception of the natural world and an interconnected ecology. “Unity through variety” is the mantra of this site-specific exhibition, which will offer a multi-layered journey that responds to and connects with the different gardens, architecture, and collections of Cheekwood.

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