Art and Light…

art and light

art and light

A feminist logic of light?

I have been having a great time recently thinking and writing about the relationship between art and light.

Having been invited to contribute to an edited collection of the journal Senses and Society by Tim Edensor, I decided to write about the work of Swiss-based video and installation artist Pipilotti Rist. Rist’s work has stayed with me since I saw a wonderful exhibition of her’s at the Cinema Manzone, in Milan in winter 2011. Having written about her work as offering a baroque geography, for Tim’s special issue I focused on thinking about Rist’s work as developing a feminist logic of light. As the abstract (below) details further, I was interested in understanding Rist’s work as developing a particular feminist language of light based on projections, volumes, atmospheres and diffusions.

The project provided a really interesting point from which to revisit some of the phenomenological explorations of art that i have explored in previous work and begin to develop these through feminist perspective. It also provided a point from which to begin to think through some new ideas on art and space around questions of atmospheres and volumes. Something I have followed up in recent writings for the conclusion of the edited collection on Geographical Aesthetics.

?All it is is Light?. Projections and volumes, artistic light and Pipilotti Rist?s feminist languages and logics of light

This paper explores the feminist language of light developed in the work of video artist Pipilotti Rist. Feminist studies of Rist?s work have tended to analyze the symbolic content of her projections, in this paper I want to reorient that analytic lens to examine the critical force of the light that constitutes her projections, together with the saturated colour atmospheres that she creates. By way of the photosensitivity of Luce Irigaray I explore how Rist?s work develops a feminist language of light – focusing in particular on the logics of surfaces and volumes. The language of light Irigaray builds, to which the idea of texture is key, is an important part of her wider project to offer an alternative to what she sees as phallocentric accounts of the intersection of sight and vision, and the relationship of subjects and objects. Tracing the evolution of Irigaray?s own thinking, the paper concludes with some thoughts on what an ethics built from light might look/feel like.

You can read the paper and the whole special issue here.