Illuminating Art

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Fredrikstad, Norway – In a demonstration of where digital video and art is combined, the Noches Electricas or “Electric Nights” exhibit at LABoral, Centre of Art and Industrial Creation in Gijón, Spain, will examine the aesthetics of art and pyrotechnics. The exhibit opened on March 18 and will continue through September 12.


Electric Nights is an exhibition conceived by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou and produced in conjunction with LABoral. Through a selection of works from the funds of the Centre George Pompidou and other French collections, Electric Nights takes its name from Les nuits électriques, a short film directed by Ukrainian avant-garde film maker, Eugene Deslaw in 1928, in which he focused on city lights at night-time, sequencing street lamps, neon signs and shop windows of Paris, Berlin and Prague, almost as if it were a fireworks show. Similarly to fireworks, film is an intermittent projection of light in the darkness.

Through the selection of works from the collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou, the exhibition, borrowing the visual recourses of pyrotechnics, wishes to demonstrate the continuity between spectacles of fire and the art of the moving image: flowers, stars, rain, fire, storms, fountains, and volcanoes, for instance. 



The exhibition begins with a series of classical French etchings representing fireworks, as well as a group of photographs that introduce a major selection of experimental films and contemporary works by Brion Gysin, Ange Leccia, Ana Mendieta, and Yoko Ono, among others.


Presented in open plan and conceived both as a parcours and as entertainment, like a classical exhibition, the show follows the principle of fireworks, alternating installations with projections. The moving images are presented on screens in different sizes and formats hanging at varying heights in the space. The principle of horizontal vision is thus altered and visitors experience the exhibition as if they were at a fireworks show: looking at the sky.

Norway’s projectiondesign is the official technology partner for the event.

Lucía García, General Coordinator from LABoral explains why they selected projectiondesign to showcase the artists work: “The projectors faithfully reproduce artistic works and video content on to screens of various sizes and formats. These screens hang at varying heights in the exhibit space and even above the audience so that they are looking at the sky. The art will be presented in an open plan exhibition space, conceived as a kind of contemplative walk, in which the various works operate on the principle of fireworks, alternating projection canvases.

Thierry Ollivier, Regional Manager, France, Russia, CIS and CEE at projectiondesign takes up the story: “This is exactly the type of creative installation that projectiondesign likes to support with the provision of our flagship F32 projectors to form a critical part of the actual exhibition. The projectors are well known for their image accuracy, reliability and colour fidelity. Like fireworks, the films and artwork being shown using our technology is also a showcase of projection of light and moving images in the dark.”

The exhibition, which is sponsored by CajAstur, begins with a series of French antique prints and classic photographs, taken by authors such as Brassaï, André Kertész, László Moholy-Nagy and Dora Maar, and experimental films. This introduces and leads to a series of contemporary works by artists including Anthony McCall, Apitchatpong Weerathsekul, whose latest film has won the last May the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival, Yoko Ono, one of the great figures of conceptual art and Fluxus, or Ana Mendieta from Cuba.

The historical perspective also contributes to an open reflection on art issues and concerns explored for more than a century and offer a look at the changes that come with technology (in this case, electricity) in urban areas.

More information about the exhibit can be found at http://www.laboralcentrodearte.org/en/exposiciones/noches-electricas.




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