light is everywhere, it is used in every discipline, it is used to observe scientific experiments, in theatre, studio photography etc…
metaphorically speaking, it holds many meanings: light not only stands for reason and clarity of mind, but also for religious revelation and divinity.
it does not merely beautify, or make things brighter. it also reveals and, at the same time conceal. it gives and takes . it engages in an infinite dance with its assumed opposite, darkness.
The next few days will explore the theme of light from many perspectives, many disciplinary standpoints, and will demonstrate artistic and scientific practices that utilize light in disparate ways (from photography to holography, from visualization, to optical illusions, etc..). To start with, the films screened last night (thursday) functioned as the perfect introduction to the days ahead, with a choice of 3 films that explored uses and interpretations of light in combination with other senses, integrated by a documentary on Goethe’s fascination with light and his theory of colors.
with its quick parade of artificial lights, Doyle’s 2003 experimental film “The Light”
revealed how light can evoke images and shadows that couldn’t be seen otherwise, even resurrect ghostly shapes that no longer exist (as in the WTO memorial “Tower of Lights”, on display for a short period of time in lower Manhattan in the place where the Twin Towers used to be), as if, with its ephemerality, it could somehow be able to represent memory.
on a different note, “Alice sees the light” explores the ubiquity of light and our cities’ need to introduce lights everywhere, to see, to embellish, to feel more secure. while light might help us see certain objects, other objects disappear from our view. stars disappear to make space to other ” stars”: street lights, lamps, signs and other artificial lights
Chambers’ “Circle” triptych combines different montage strategies. his “year-long meditation on his backyard” is preceded by a “home movie” beginning, in which he is portrayed while he is preparing to take his daily 4 seconds shots of his backyard, and followed by a formal part resembling a documentary.
while the film reflects on the use of photography and film as media that “capture” objects under different light situations, it is also a contemplation on nature’s cyclical rituals (involving considerable light changes): the shots are taken every day at the same time using fixed aperture and framing.
finally, Goethe’s theory of light and color was the focus of the documentary “Light, darkness and color.”
His observations about the necessity to examine light and darkness as inseparable and the invitation to observe the appearance of complementary in the grey of the shadow filtered through the atmosphere encourage further reflections that involve the “secrets of light.” scientific study of light as well as creative experimentation are called to uncover such secrets.