During my recent visit to MOMA Wales I was taken with the exhibition of the works by Sue Hiley Harris where a series of individual woven pieces were displayed together in a dimly lit room where the lighting was used to create shadows on the wall and floor. You could get in amongst the pieces in the display allowing you to achieve different perspectives as he patterns and shapes changed with your viewpoint.
This reminded me of a work I’d seen on display at the Pompidou Centre during our visit to Paris in August. “Sans Titre (Passage II)” by Cristina Iglesias
This work consisted of 17 braided raffia mats suspended from the ceiling. Like the Sue Hiley Harris pieces they were hung n a dimmed room and lighting was used to cast shadows on the floor. Again, the viewer could interact with the work and walk underneath it, gaining different perspectives.
Another work in the Pompidou Centre that also used light and shadows cast by a structure was “Barbed wire lamps” by the Israeli artist, Sigalit Landau. As their name suggests, these objects are constructed from barbed wire. They are soaked in the waters of the Dead Sea which deposits a crust of salt on the wire. Like the other two works, the pieces were suspended from the ceiling and lit so that they cast shadows on the floor.
In this case, you weren’t allowed to get up too close, but could move around them so changing your viewpoint so that the shapes of the objects themselves and their shadows changed.
All three works employ space and light to create effects that change with the viewer’s location.
Another work by Landau shown in the Pompidou Centre exhibition (“Barbed Hula”,) was a film of her naked body performing with a hula hoop made of barbed wire. This was projected on the wall of the gallery near to the lamps. It made for ucomfortable viewing as the barbs on the wire cut into her flesh – she certainly was suffering for her art!