Moshe Ladanga

The Lines Between Us

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We caught the last day of the Anthony McCall show at the Serpentine Gallery. Suffice to say, it was packed; the entrance was a virtual portal into humidity, a funny contrast to the cold snap of air outside. When we entered the dark chambers of the light projections, there was a subtle change of mood. The utter simplicity of the darkness made people behave quite reverentially, and we took tentative steps to the oscillations of light.

Undoubtedly the projections were stunning. The volumes shifted ever so slightly, as if beckoning the viewers to be still and engage in the primal act of seeing, perceiving. McCall’s work strikes through so many levels of the art of filmmaking, just figuring out the concepts behind them is as beautiful as the work itself.

I wanted to see the work at all vantage points so I wandered around, pausing at different points to observe the light. The one I remember vividly, the one that stuck was when I was directly in front of the light, within the volume. It looked like this:

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In the cone, the volume moved in the most subtle of ways, the patterns of smoke shifting slowly in one-point perspective. But the most interesting thing for me is the instance in the image above, the cutting of the projection, the interruption of the illusion. The experience stayed with me for days.

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A few days after seeing the exhibition, we were doing drawing experiments for the collaboration. In my last tutorial, Andy suggested that drawing can be a way for us investigate the nature of our collaboration. The experiment above (Katrin’s on the left, mine is on right) was the most interesting. We simply made two pieces of paper overlap a little to make one drawing surface and proceeded to draw lines across the whole surface. Then we repositioned the paper and joined at different sides and drew again. We repeated this three times then stopped and proceeded to highlight the instances of our own individual lines intersecting. Our rationale for this was to record our movement within a space, the paths.

Katrin had this idea of recording the movement of people, which led me to thinking about how we were going to present our work, the juxtaposition, the tension.

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Literally, screens will be placed opposite each other in a corridor, among paintings. And there will be a cross of lasers, one line emanating from each screen, forming a simple matrix that will trigger the conversation between the two works when crossed. I remembered that experience in McCall’s light cone, and the intrusion of human activity breaking the cone, revealing the properties of the work.

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It was a strange thing, how one thought leads to another.

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Written by mosheladanga

February 14, 2008 at 6:33 AM

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