Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Luminous Territories - Nathaniel Rackowe

Nathaniel Rackowe
Luminous Territories – Sept 13th – October 27th
Bischoff/Weiss Gallery
Karine Teyssier, October 2007

"Please knock on the door, the bell is broken"

Lift out of order - pedestrians are kindly asked to use the other street.
The sheet of paper used on the door of the gallery doesn’t seem to be an exception to all the other daily dysfunctions of the city.

The city beats.

The door was knocked upon and then opened by itself.
The visitor has to penetrate into a dark territory before being flashed... Again. One more time.
Gradually the visitor starts to clearly recognize the rectangular structure of this monster: "Luminous Territories", made by scaffolding and hoarding, enwrapped in transparent industrial construction material, usually used to protect construction sites from the rain.
Flickering light cast on the structure are lighting the inside of the work irregularly, revealing small sections at a time, never the entire work.

In the lower gallery, "Black Cube" is made out of corrugated bitumen roofing sheets, sliced, stacked and bolted together. The longer you walk around it, the more it turns into a disturbing object. In contrast to "Luminous Territory", its spatial set up is easily understood.

"Black Cube" does not only create the sensation that it absorbs the light surrounding it, but also looks as if it contained within itself a secret world, another dimension, which seems close, yet actually remains inaccessible.
Related to Pirandello’s jails paintings, the reference to the labyrinth is clearly identifiable in this work.
"Black Cube" takes us through an urban labyrinth, similar to a city in which a multitude of parallel, different dimensions are neighbouring each other, dependent on its actors, the time and the weather.

The visit ends with a sculpture entitled: WLP4
The city becomes emptier and emptier and seems to suddenly be silent.
All of her inhabitants have gone home. Although she seems to be quiet, she is exploding inside of herself due to her increasing excitement.
The nervous shadows are flying about behind the windows, the cathode’s neon tube rhythming the colours of the street.
But then the lamps of the street are suddenly lighting…the red light coming from them transforms itself into a calm orange light.

The city has woken up.

The works by Nathaniel Rackowe, exhibited there, are definitely talking about the city, but the artist doesn’t show you a city; He tells it. He not only manages to feel the city, its poetry, its unattainable transformations which were described by Pierre Sansot in his book Poétique de la ville, but he also translates them, syntheses them, to extract a concentration of different dimensions in which we could briefly meet the phantoms of the “flaneurs” rich in spleen and ideal.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed reading your response to the show, particularly in regards to Black Cube.