Christian Boltanski (*1944 in Paris, France)
Christian Boltanski’s central theme is preserving traces of the past, using simple materials to reconstruct and document individual lives. Since the 1980s, Boltanski has been creating shadow plays of puppet-like figures dancing on walls bathed in artificial light. The archetype images shown in the museum in Unna are reminiscent of childhood or bad dreams, and illuminate the ambivalent relationship between life and death.
Olafur Eliasson (*1967 in Kopenhagen, Denmark)
Waterfalls, rainbows, fog, or light are the motifs that Olafur Eliasson uses in his art works to portray nature as it manifests itself. His installation in the Centre for International Light Art provides the visitor with a completely new experience of all senses on a footbridge, flanked by two waterfalls. Lit by stroboscopic lights, the viewer gets the impression of the water being stopped in free fall.
Rebecca Horn (*1944 in Michelstadt, Germany)
For Unna, Rebecca Horn designed a complex mechanical installation, consisting of copper, glass, steel, and light that grows into the room like lotus flowers. Rotating mirrors cast slow moving light reflections on the walls of the room, and generate an ethereal, meditative atmosphere. One experiences a magical, poetic environment made up of movement, sound, and reflection. All this is supported by a composition of overtone sounds by New Zealand musician Hayden Chisholm.
Joseph Kosuth (*1945 in Ohio, USA)
Joseph Kosuth is a protagonist of the 1970s analytical conceptual art. Theoretical reflection on art has the same status as the work of art itself, which no longer requires physical realisation. The museum shows a text by Heinrich Heine, written with neon tubes, with which Kosuth evokes the power of phantasy. A lightly sloping footbridge starts at the beginning of the exhibition hall and leads the visitor zigzagging through it, thus making it possible to move through the installation.
Brigitte Kowanz (*1957 in Wien, Austria)
With this installation by Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz the Centre for International Light Art expands its collection on the ground level of the Linden Brewery. Kowanz’ work consists of 19 neon numbers. Light sliding quietly and continuously across the whole length of the installation contrasts with the punctual illumination of the numbers. Pulsating like the rhythm of an imaginary clock, they demonstrate the time that it takes for light to pass the short distance of 11,5 metres.
Mischa Kuball (*1959 in Düsseldorf, Germany)
Mischa Kuball explores spaces and places. His moving projections involve the space as well as the viewer, who changes his position and himself in the space. On three mirrored balls three text slides are projected in the dark room that shimmer like stars across the walls of the exhibition space. Two spheres are in motion and divide the words into individual letter fragments, into light points, which move barely tangible and seemingly chaotic through the space. The third ball, on which the word “speed” is projected, is without movement.
Christina Kubisch (*1948 in Bremen, Germany)
Christina Kubisch ‘composes’ spaces and simultaneously takes their history into account. In Unna, she changed four fermentation vats into sound-fields. White loudspeakers of various sizes are placed on the black painted floor in a strict geometric pattern. Black light is used to give them a luminosity which makes them seem to float above the floor. Just like the fluorescent light shines upwards, varied and finely balanced sounds rise up from below, providing various associations to nature.
Mario Merz (*1925–2003 , Italy)
The Fibonacci Sequence, a mathematical sequence of numbers that results from the addition of every two preceding numbers, continues endlessly into the sky. With his installation, Italian artist Mario Merz elevated the series to an artistic symbol. The sixteen numbers, written in the flowing script of the artist himself, were placed on the 52 metres high chimney of the industrial heritage building, and shine in blue neon light into the dark night.
François Morellet (*1926–2016 , France)
The subtitle Pier and Ocean refers to a series of drawings by Piet Mondrian, where the ocean is abstracted by vertical and horizontal lines. At first glance, Morellet’s installation consists of a grid constructed from fine neon tubes traversing the dimensions of the room. The visitor enters the room via an iron bridge, thus a kind of pier. Below and next to him the neon tubes shine like a quiet sea. As soon as the visitor passes a specific point, the spatial experience changes completely.
Stephan Reusse (*1954 in Pinneberg, Germany)
Together with the lighting industry, Stephan Reusse developed a laser that casts fluid moving lines. Movements of a real person are transmitted in laser lines. The movements arise from vectorizations (linear transformations), they follow a filmed movement and do not come from the virtual world. Smooth movements are generated. At the same time, the illustrated figures – for example a person who cheerfully jostles, bows, and seems to speak to the audience, or two people who are lost in a kiss- remain an abstract image.
Vera Röhm (*1943 in Landsberg/Lech, Germany)
„Night is the Shadow of the Earth“ is an ever-growing work. Since 2005, 66 cubes have been created with translations of this sentence in 66 languages. The starting point of the text cubes is a sentence by the German scholar Johann Leonhard Frisch (1666-1743). In different languages and font types - from German to Urdu - Vera Röhm is able to dissolve the sentence „Night is the Shadow of the earth“ from the sides of black lacquered aluminium cubes with an edge length of 75 cm. The five light cubes in the collection are a friendly loan from the artist.
Keith Sonnier (*1941 in Louisiana, USA)
American artist Keith Sonnier uses light as a means of giving structure to the exhibition room. Various shaped neon tubes are suspended from the ceiling and walls in two adjacent rooms, in a colour sequence ranging from red and violet to blue. By relating his work to the architectural structure of the room, Sonnier creates a powerful sense of tension. The groundwater that regularly appears in this room mirrors the ‘tears’ in various nuances and enhances the power of the installation.
James Turrell (*1943 in Los Angeles, USA)
One of the best-known representatives of the genre of light art is American artist James Turrell. He turns light into space and constructs rooms out of light. His Floater 99 deals with the perception of space and light. The visitor enters the Floater that is immersed in a coloured, diffuse light in which the room seems to dissolve. The one and only point of reference is a screen, behind which LED lights make the room change from an ice blue to a magenta coloured environment.
James Turrell (*1943 in Los Angeles, USA)
Belonging to the Skyspace series, Third Breath is a two-storey building in public space that provides a most unique experience in the perception of light. In the building’s upper part, the Skyspace, a round opening in the roof gathers the light of the sky. A light composition by Turrell combined with the weakening light during twilight creates unbelievable effects. Downstairs, working on a principle similar to that of a camera obscura, a converging lens channels the light of the sky into the dark room below, where it is perceived as a moving firmament.
Jan Van Munster (*1939 in Gornichem, the Netherlands)
Jan van Munster is the artist of energies. His works are situated between extreme opposites, between plus and minus, dull and shining, male and female, light and dark. In the old paternoster shaft of the former linden brewery, which connects the ground-level of the Centre for Information and Education with the underground museum, Jan van Munster created his installation “Me (in Dialogue). The visitor sees an ICH sculpture in blue neon letters, an “I”, which is played out in ten languages - I 's in dialogue. Furthermore, the light works „Zwischen Plus und Minus“, (2014) and „Ratio“, (1999) can be seen in the collection as a kind loan from the artist.