If you’re in London any time before 28 April, then you really should try to get along to Light Show at the Hayward Gallery.
As the name implies, it’s all about light – lots of installations and exhibits based around light. Some are simple – trivial even – but many are remarkable.
A certain part of me doesn’t want to describe this exhibition in too much detail since to do so might be a “spoiler” but I’ll do my best.
On entering you see Leo Villareal’s Cylinder II which is both enormous and simple. I say that, but there are clearly some smart electronics at work. There are nearly 20,000 LEDs in this work that looks like a fountain of some description.
Magic Hour (above) by David Batchelor seems simple in conception, but is actually very powerful. The glow coming from the screens positioned against the glass coupled with a tangle of power cables give this something of an ethereal quality.
You can probably walk past Throw by Ceal Floyer quite quickly. It’s a basic theatrical effect.
More impressive is Cerith Wyn Evans S=U=P=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E which give off heat and light.
You and I, Horizontal (above) by Anthony McCall is a straightforward lighting effect seen is many average gigs these days. Yet given its own room, it’s still very powerful.
Doug Wheeler’s Untitled room is the first in which you have to wear shoe covers. The walls and floor are white and the light makes you feel slightly disoriented.
I found actually getting into James Turrell’ Wedgework V installation remarkably hard. Guides from the gallery tell you to enter with your hand against the wall since it is so black. Inside the effect is eerie.
Quite the most remarkable installation is Carloz Cruz-Diez’s Chromosaturation (above and below) which is a series of rooms each lit in a single colour, but from which you can see the next room. Consequently, standing under red light you don’t the adjacent green and blue rooms feel more vibrant. The effect is of course reversed when you move to the next room. You have to experience it to fully comprehend what I’m talking about.
Other must see exhibits include Ivan Navarro’s Reality Show (Silver) which is a kind of mirrored phone booth, and Olafur Eliasson’s Model for a timeless garden which uses strobes and water streams (below) to create a great illusory effect. Not for the epileptic!
There are plenty more exhibits, but I’ll leave you to discover them. As I say, well worth a visit.
I’d also advise going early in the day to try to get there when there are as few people around as possible. I think that many of the installations work better when they’re relatively empty.