1 Ando, Tadao: Church of the Light, Osaka, Japan
2 Olafur Eliasson, Pedestrian Vibes, 2004
3 Eliasson The Weather Project, Tate Modern, 2003
4 Akira Mizuta Lippit focuses on historical moments in which such modes of avisuality came into being—the arrival of cinema, which brought imagination to life; psychoanalysis, which exposed the psyche; the discovery of x-rays, which disclosed the inside of the body; and the “catastrophic light” of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which instituted an era of atomic discourses.
L I G H T
light 1 (lt)
1 Church of the Light is a simple building that makes the most of what it can. Consisting of only six walls and a ceiling, it is a testament of the phrase « less is more ». The abstract nature of the architecture glorifies itself with small moves and ideas that have a big impact on the success of the design. The chapel rejects the surrounding high-tech metropolis with with a surreal introversion of the relationship between light and Christianity.
3 CG In thinking about the early piece you described and the Tate Modern project, I’m reminded that one of the most consummately modern characters in English literature, Hamlet, complains of being “too much in the sun.” The phrase has an Oedipal resonance and is a pun — being too much the son — but it’s also about rejecting authority more generally. The sun always seems to come up when it’s a question of debunking authority and false gods.
OE It’s not particularly complicated: I’ve been interested in light for a long time, and the sun, of course, is the origin of all daylight. In the Tate installation, the sun ultimately dropped from the picture and became demystified. I noticed that kids looked first at the mirrors and then at the sun, whereas grown-ups usually looked first at the sun and then at the mirrors. The space was so long that most people, when they entered Turbine Hall, saw the sun as an image, and the space was reduced to a two-dimensional thing for them. Yet by the time they got to the end where the sun was, they wouldn’t look at it anymore because the sun had completely emptied itself as an image and the engagement now was on the engagement with the space. The sun was just a flat screen, and there was nothing very interesting about it.
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