Matters of light and death

By Cornucopia | May 30, 2011

Madde-Işık II (Matter-Light II) Borusan Müzik Evi Istiklal Cad., Orhan Adli Apaydın Sokak No: 1, Beyoğlu, Istanbul May 28 - September 25, 2011
Quartet for Dot Matrix Printer, [The User]

Quartet for Dot Matrix Printer, [The User

Borusan is an arts foundation best known for hosting music events, so it is not surprising that its latest exhibition, Madde-Işik II (Matter-Light 2), comes across as somewhat stagey – something between movie, pop concert, and fairground attraction. When the lift opens at the fifth floor, the start of the show, you enter a dark corridor bathed in blue LED light emanating from an acrylic sculpture of a car, inside which a skeleton is visible. The exhibition continues along more dark corridors that wind around the building, occasionally opening into small rooms of installations and art works, many of which have a strong technological influence.
Flip Dots Mirror, Julien Maire

Flip Dots Mirror, Julien Maire

Low Resolution Cinema - Memory Plane, Julien Maire

Low Resolution Cinema - Memory Plane, Julien Maire

This layout detracts from a number of interesting artworks. The theatricality of the curation makes all the work seem melodramatic, but the projection-based installations of Julien Maire (above) are far too gentle and thoughtful for such treatment. The more dramatic pieces, however, do well by it. VISP, by Christian Partosa (below), is a hypnotic work made from 10-metre-long wires that spin like skipping-ropes, while LEDs strung along them make animated patterns. Set in a large dark room, the effect is overwhelming, and yet the whole thing still feels like a prop from a science fiction blockbuster.
VISP, Christian Partos

VISP, Christian Partos

The show’s penultimate work is Jean Michel Bruyère’s Assistante Social. By this point, the dark corridors have been left behind and the installation has more than enough room to breathe. But this change leaves the large work somewhat stranded and disjointed from the rest of the exhibition. Back on the ground floor, light bulbs rise and fall from the ceiling, switching themselves on and off – more ghost train than exhibition.
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