International Light Art Award

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+ Dark II (two, too)

26.09.2015 – 03.04.2016

Anthony McCall (UK), Diana Ramaekers (NL), Regine Schumann (DE), Vera Röhm (DE), Lucinda Devlin (US)

Darkness swallows the world around us. A room without light, without shadows and colours is unsettling. The almost completely dark exhibition rooms at the Centre for International Light Art envelop the guests, allowing the art installations of the exhibition ¡DARK! to become discernible only after a short period of acclimatisation. The installations by Anthony McCall, Diana Ramaekers, Regine Schumann, and Vera Röhm create „surfaces of light“.

The exhibition concept includes visitors being able to step into or walk through each installation. They interact with the works of art, thus becoming a part of them.

The co-exhibition DARK II analyses and interprets the term “dark” in a different, unexpected way. Here, darkness is to be found in a human’s soul, in the metaphorical play of light and shadows, visible and invisible. Galerie m Bochum as guest curator presents the photography series The Omega Suites by US photographer Lucinda Devlin.

Anthony McCall: Meeting You Halfway II (2009)

Since the early 1970s, Anthony McCall has been known for his individual light installations, the so-called „solid light“ movies. The technique became his signature: Animated black and white lines, projected into a room filled with artificial haze to articulate two-dimensional drawings as seemingly tangible, sculptural shapes in real space. Right from the start, the artist thus revolutionised cinema and created completely traversable, populist space. His creations exist between cinema, sculpture, and drawing. His artworks are fleeting though seemingly tangible, physical. Projected horizontally across a room onto a wall or – in case of his latest work – from ceiling to floor, they envelop the viewer in a single, slowly moving cone of light.

Meeting You Halfway II (2009) is an example of McCall’s horizontal installations that integrate the viewer. The installation combines and divides different configurations of two ellipses. “In three-dimensional space this creates a complex sculptural shape in a state of slow, continuous change,” as McCall describes it. At the same time, it appears movie-like, “continually changing and evolving even while one explores it.” The artwork thus continues the long sequence of “solid light” movie installations, the first of those from the 1970s, Line Describing a Cone, having become an avant-garde-cinema classic.

Anthony McCall, born 1946 in St. Paul’s Cray, UK, lives and works in New York, USA.

Solid Light Installation: Video/Film, Computer, Digital File, Video Projector, Haze Machine. One Cycle: 15 Minutes.
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Thomas Zander, Cologne.

Source: Light Show, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2013 and Gallery Thomas Zander, Cologne.

Diana Ramaekers: Sensing the Light (2015)

Dutch artist Diana Ramaekers will be creating a new, site-specific installation for ¡Dark! Movement is part of her installations as well, though not by utilizing film as in Anthony McCall’s case but by using two large mirrors. Once more, artificial haze makes the light choreography become visible. Three theatre spotlights and the moving mirrors create a large light sculpture that can be explored by the visitors: With the light structures changing depending on the visitors’ position in the room, they thus become part of the interactive light-space-installation Sensing the Light. The materialized light slowly makes its way across the room, along walls, floor and ceiling, grazing visitors from time to time who experience the light as a tangible, physical body that sometimes comes too close. Here we realize that light does not only have a poetic but also a forceful, destructive character.

Diana Ramaekers, born 1970 in Kerkrade, lives and works in Chèvremont, NL.

The light installation Sensing the Light is constructed with 3 „Moving Heads“ LED projectors, 1 haze machine, DMX-control, and mirrors.

Regine Schumann: Jump! (2012 | 2014) 

The artwork Connect, Back to Back contrasts the other, exclusively black and white installations of the exhibition with its multi-coloured, playful aura. It is an installation made of wavelike acryl glass. Kept in phosphorescent blue and fuchsia red colours, the installation meanders across the exhibition room. It invites the visitors to take a relaxed walk through its space, offering new perspectives and confronting with a new experience of colour. The objects reach shoulder height so that visitors may look across the wavelike labyrinth. Black light accentuates the acryl glass, allowing the objects to draw lines across the room, thus becoming graphic elements.

Architecture is the starting point for Regine Schumann, the basic point of all her artistic thought processes. Space demands and commands all her deliberations concerning colour, shape, light, and staging. The inclusion of additional artistic elements such as dance and language is the logical consequence of her pursuit of a Gesamtkunstwerk and complements the installation Connect, Back to Back to form the artwork Jump!

Regine Schumann, born 1961 in Goslar, Germany, lives and works in Cologne, Germany.

Regine Schumann, Connect, Back to Back, 2011, fluorescent plexiglass, 4.26’ x 6.56’ x 4.7’

Source: Sabine Weichel

Vera Röhm: Die Nacht ist der Schatten der Erde (2005-present) [Night is Earth’s Shadow]

Die Nacht ist der Schatten der Erde is a continuously growing installation. Since 2005, German artist Vera Röhm so far created 66 cubes in 66 languages. 
The linguistic starting point of the cubes is the sentence by German scientist Johann Leonhard Frisch (1666-1743). With his wording ‘Night is Earth’s Shadow’, Frisch enforces a radical change of perspective in a concise and clear form: away from the countless different atmospheres of night, which vary depending on subjectivity, cultural, temporal, or geographical circumstances, into a cosmic approach of the phenomenon ‘night’. 
In a broad variety of languages, ranging from German and French to Greek and Hebrew or Thai, artist Vera Röhm causes the sentence Die Nacht ist der Schatten der Erde to become detached from the sides of black painted aluminium cubes with an edge length of 75 cm. Each language has its own cube; the sentences, shaped by laser, are lit from inside the aluminium cubes behind white matt glass. This way, the visitors are facing different cubes with each language shining in its own unique letter type. 

In the museum’s central exhibition space, better known as the ‘columned cellar’, around 20 text cubes will be shown in such a way that the visitors walk through a ‘forest’ of cubes. In the room’s darkness, lightened shadows will throw glowing rays.

Vera Röhm (1943) was born in Landsberg/Lech, Germany, and currently lives and works in Darmstadt and Corsica.

Dark II (two, too)

Lucinda Devlin: The Omega Suites

Dark II is an accompanying exhibition, curated by Galerie m Bochum.

Dark II shows photographs from the series called The Omega Suites by artist/photographer Lucinda Devlin. In these photographs, the terms ‘light’ and ‘dark’ obtain a completely different and unexpected dimension, going far beyond the functional aspect of light by entering a metaphorical level.

Between 1991 and 1998, Lucinda Devlin photographed execution spaces throughout the US. She looked for prisons where death penalties would be executed, making these spaces visible in her sober and formal, yet at the same time fascinating and equally shocking pictures. The images of gas chambers, electric chairs, and death cells are disturbing yet simultaneously inspire the viewer to explore these places with their peculiar interiors, their artificial and cold lighting, and its cruel factual functionality.

The Omega Suites focusses on the dark side of a society that calls itself modern, on its Old Testament-like, archaic, and medieval-looking jurisprudence. Here, darkness may be true not only in moral terms, but can also be understood as invisibility, as a blind spot: the places made visible in Devlin’s photographs normally remain hidden from public life. This receives added emphasis by the numerous doors, gates, and curtains that can be found in the pictures. Devlin very consciously merely shows where these actions take place.

The exhibition is supported by:




Photos: Frank Vinken,