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International Light Art Award

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May 18, 2016

Skyspace during the magic of twilight

From May until October the Centre for International Light Art offers the possibility to experience the unique light... more…

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James Turrell: Third Breath, 2005/2009

Third Breath,2009

Since the beginning of 2009, the Center for International Light Art in Unna presents a second installation by American light artist James Turrell. The art work entitled "Third Breath", which has been especially designed for Unna, links two perception rooms and allows visitors to experience a completely new visual perception.

The installation is connected with the museum by an underground passage. The visitor first enters the lower dark part of the installation, the Camera Obscura. On a circular white marble surface, he can see reflections of the sky, clouds or even birds flying above. Using a stairway, the visitor reaches the upper part of the installation, Skyspace. While the visitor sees an image of the sky in the Camera Obscura, generated by natural light and the sharpness of a lens, here he can make a comparison with the natural appearance of the sky, which seems to float like a huge dome above him. Turrell shows us the real sky, which is staged in an artificial way.


Third Breath, 2009


"How often do we look at the sky and think how far away it is? But my Skyspaces bring it down to the ceiling of the room in which you are."

Closely linked with "Third Breath" is Turrell's "Red Crater Project". Since 1974 he has been working on reconstructing an extinct volcano located in the Arizona desert into a sky observatory. There he creates rooms unfurled to the sky, which openings are aligned to the cosmological system and so allow a perception of the sky at summer and winter solstice.
Turrell's oeuvre contains a whole group of Skyspaces. However, "Third Breath" is unique in its combination of Skyspace and Camera Obscura. During sunset hours, natural and artificial light meet in Skyspace, turn the sky into a colored palette that seems to close off the room from the sky, although it is  the sky itself that the visitor observe.





From May to October Skyspace can be visited during evening twilight. Guided tours take place on  Thursday and Saturday evenings at changing times, depending on the moment that sunset takes place. Learn more about it here.