15 October 2014

Suddenly noticing

During and since the CQ retreat I spent much time looking at and thinking about books and websites about Sian Bowen's work, and have been happily piercing different types of paper with various implements ... but this process lacked something important, namely subject matter. Instead of working on a theme or towards something, I've merely been working with materials.

Reading the Nova Zembla book at my usual place at the kitchen table this morning, I suddenly noticed the so-familiar shapes of stairs and the door on the landing, ajar and lit from behind, and started thinking about light and shadow and thresholds and perspective and liminality and transience and luminosity and lumens and photons and how light doesn't bend around corners, so what's happening when the light we see comes from around the corner?

It took only a moment to catch these thoughts (=light) via the camera -
Once invisible, these have suddenly become unavoidably visible spaces as I move around and pay attention to them. 

Elsewhere, on two floors, two doors occupy a corner -
As I think about this, the "empty" space reconsitutes itself (is this what happened to Rachel Whiteread at some point?)
Rachel Whiteread's Stairs (via)
Doors and stairs were my chief fascinations during the foundation course, and house plans have always been an interest, thanks to living ages 9-18 in a house under constant construction or extension - I'd spend hours imagining the 2D plans in my father's building magazines as 3D, real, houses. 

Looking just now for a remembered painting, or photo, of some "impossible" doors (was it by Duchamp? - yes!)
Sometimes you hit it lucky with the sites you find things on .. this one helpfully adds: "door frames set at right angles with one door between them so that when the door closes in one frame it opens  in the other. A clever way to illustrate contradiction and transition at the same time" - transition yes, but contradiction I'd not thought of, and it's intriguing to think of light being a contradiction (literally, "saying against") of dark ... and its transition - how it weakens, through distance, into dark. And then the blockage offered by walls, making it possible for light to fill a space. 

Duchamp, that useful artist, also offers this installation, His Twine - 
in which the "rays" occupying the space remind me of the way light can bounce between mirrors. Somewhere I have a wonderful photo taken inside a mirrored cube, showing a million points of light, but it's not easily findable at the moment.  (Instead, have a look at the space-filling work of Monika Grzymala.)

Ah, mirrors - another dimension, a trickery! Consider these, taken at BMA House, or these -

But I digress. The starting point was light behind a door, outlining its fore-edge, spilling(?) over the other edges ... no, more of a seeping beyond them. Doors, thresholds, spaces, light ... vestiges, or stirrings, of an idea that may prove ephemeral or may morph into something else.

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