The Illusion of Light, Palazzo Grassi, Venice by Doug Wheeler | via
Doug Wheeler’s lighting installation, titled D-N SF 12 PG VI, is installed for The Illusion of Light exhibition at Palazzo Grassi – an 18th century residence situated on Venice’s Grand Canal that now hosts contemporary art shows.
Visible on entering the gallery, the re-appropriated atrium space is flanked on two sides by the building’s original stone columns.
The other two edges, floor and roof are replaced with what appears to be just brilliant white light.
When viewed from the entrance hall, it is unclear how far the illuminated area extends up or back and visitors inside the space seem to be suspended in and surrounded by the light.
This disorientation and spatial uncertainty continue when entering the area as white lighting removes the sense of depth and perspective.
"Light becomes matter and redefines space and time by eliminating the perceptual markers of the visitor, who is left between a mirage and reality, nature and artifice, fullness and emptiness, moment and duration," said a statement from the gallery.
Venturing far enough into the space, it is possible to get into a position facing away from the columns so the light completely fills the field of view.
The effect is created inside a reinforced fibreglass shell, which is coated in titanium dioxide paint and illuminated with LEDs.
The shell curves up gently from the floor to create two walls and a ceiling. Lighting is used to remove the shadows that would usually give away where the surfaces change direction.
The Illusion of Light exhibition was curated by Caroline Bourgeois and continues until 31 December.
Photography: Fulvio Orsenigo
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