Other images in LED light installations

ANTHONY JAMES: ABSOLUTE ZERO

Marc
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Anthony James’ work takes up the concepts of the universal and transcendental in order to demonstrate the impossibility of their representation.  The historical cosmology of Plato is a primary inspiration, both for the sculptures of icosahedrons and for the silhouette of Baroque architect Francesco Borromini’s dome for Sant’Ivo in Rome.  Colorful rings of neon nod to the ancient concept of the universe as a set of concentric planetary orbits.  The effect is both esoteric and industrial, orphic and distinctly concrete.  Modern art historical references abound as well – Bruce Nauman, Ellsworth Kelly, Minimalism – but the artist’s attention is on the wonderment and possibility presented by distant ideals.

The neon spectrum works that provide the title for James’ exhibition are particularly poignant in the tension between references, effects, and materials.  The Absolute Zero works are meticulously calibrated spectra of colored neon tubes arranged in concentric circles to evoke the radiance of sacred enlightenment.  The hue and intensity of the colors are designed to create white light.  The historical references here span empirical experimentation with prisms to the image, across cultures, of the universe-wheel.  Neon is already in our time a somewhat outworn material and the visible wires and plugs that trail from the vibrant rings interrupt any illusions of transcendence.  This is the paradox that James’ objects show, a formal certainty and perspicuity (exact symmetry, white light, accurate shape) that registers a loss of purity or autonomy or wholeness.  His works illustrate ideals, but they themselves are very contingent and actual, particular, not universal: they are for today.

Source: vimeo


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