Monday, 25 February 2013

The Light Show

The Hayward Gallery has once again come up trumps with the amazing Light Show.

A collection of different presentations of the effects of light, ranging from the quiet, simple beauty of David Batchelor's "Magic Hour" or Francois Morellet's "Lamentable" through Leo Villareal's strangely fascinating "Cylinder II" to Bill Culbert's sneaky "Bulb Box Reflection II", there is an endless array of light-related trickery on display.

Some fascinating optical illusions are on display, especially in some of the larger pieces.

There was a massive queue for James Turrell's "Wedgework V". I'm not convinced it was worth it, but it did give you ample time to study one of the cleverest pieces on display: Jim Campbell's "Exploded View (Commuters)" which looks like a collection of unassuming, twee, twinkling lights, until you see it from the correct angle. At that moment you realise that the patterns of the lights switching on and off randomly turns into you watching the random motions of morning commuters going to work.

However, the most amazing bit of light-trickery was definitely the strobe-lit water garden by Olafur Eliasson, "Model for a Timeless Garden". A constant high-speed strobe reveals the extraordinary, fascinating, ever-changing beauty of the simplest of fountains, mists and sprinkler jets.

A strange mixture of peaceful stillness and fascinating motion, visual trickery and stunning simplicity, there is something here for everyone, from the innocent toddler to the seasoned aesthete.

Go see it.

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