White Cube. London. A massive gallery welcoming 2 artists : Robert Irwin and Cerith Wyn Evans. Both playing with neon sculptures and perception.
Upon entering the room displaying Cerith Wyn Evans’ installation there’s a pause; a hesitation. I need to take the time to process what’s going on here. 3 neon sculptures hanging from the wall and 2 palm trees slowly rotating.
3 neon sculptures hanging from the wall and 2 palm trees slowly rotating.
The sculpture on the left oddly makes sense. 3 circles and a shape that looks like a star. Elements which remind me of how planets are aligned. It’s a sort of scaled neon galaxy, which has been interpreted by Cerith Wyn Evans here.
The press release which I got from the entrance of the gallery explains the inspirations for the design of the sculptures. I honestly tried to understand everything, from the Japanese Noh theatre influence to Marcel Duchamp’s “Oculist Witnesses”, “The bride stripped bare by her bachelors’ and the ‘Illuminating Gas’. I just researched the ‘Oculist Witnesses’ and found out that the 3 elliptical rings and the circle were mimicking symbols from a commercial eye test.
Failing to understand precisely the artist’s intents within his work; I made the decision to deliver my understanding, perception and personal interpretation.
The sculptures create attraction. Not because of what they represent, circles, zigzags or lines. But because of the materials used to fabricate the details. Transparent glass tubes filled up with a smokey gaz.
Transparent glass tubes filled up with a smokey gaz.
Each tube is lit up. From up close, I can perceive a combustion system with a small flame. It’s technical. I’m impressed and I try to imagine how complicated creating and setting up this sculpture must have been. My emotions altered as I moved closer to the piece. Amazed, intrigued and curious. All I wanted was to rush home and find the artist’s motives and explanations.
This art is different. It’s meant to be admired and contemplated from every possible angle by walking around the pieces. And to stop wanting to know more and everything. A concept I found tough to fight.