As I mentioned yesterday, we saw a James Turell exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Berlin recently. Mr. Turell works with light, only.
So we were asked to take our shoes off and were lead into an empty room with white-washed walls. The corners shaped a soft round. At the end of the room, we were warned to not fall off the edge. And right enough, as one walked to the opposite wall of the entrance opening, looking much like an empty movie theatre screen, there was an edge with some space expanding below and behind.
Of course, I wanted to test, how deep it was and whether one could walk into other spaces, but was politely directed back and warned, not to stand close to the edge. So, visitors were obviously meant to stand in the white box.
All of a sudden, the tone of light started to change. The air seemed to take on a powdery quality, the hues of light gradually shifting. At points, the empty back wall seemed to creep closer, at other times, shade and light formed some kind of a darker frame on colour of the same shade. One had the impression to stand right in the center of colour, surrounded by it. Or to look at colour in its purest form. So close, one could grab it or merge with it.
I found it very easy to tell, which colours I am comfortable with. And which ones made me queasy or unstill or even agressive. Actually, most comfort gives me a light shade of cyan. Felt like being a dolphin, diving in endless, lightflooded waters. It gave me a physical sensation of weightlessness and elevation. Caused by mere eyesight, nice, don’t you agree?
Whereas sweetheart left after half an hour, as this was not an action packed activity, standing still in the middle of an empty room, I gave it a full hour. It was an experience to remember. If you ever get a chance to see a Turell work of art, you should take the opportunity. It will be well worth your time.
Unfortunately, there was a No Pictures rule, so there are no pics I have to show. You might want to refer to Mr. Turell’s homepage, if you want to see some of it.
But the building itself – the Jewish Museum Berlin – is spectacular and well worth a few looks. It even features some light installation slightly along the ideas of Turell, combining architecture with light:
Here a few shots from the outside: