gaps and spaces 2

Gaps. Spaces. The presence of absence.

Since discovering Bruno Catalano‘s sculptures a few days ago, similar themes keep popping up everywhere I look.

Here are three…

Exhibit A: at a lecture I heard the other night, about Art and the Holocaust

An American artist named Shimon Attie created the Writing on the Wall (1991-1993) project in Berlin, projecting pre-Holocaust photographs of the neighborhood’s Jewish residents and shops onto facades of buildings in the same locations where the original images were taken.

I’d love to have seen it. What a weird counterpointing of here and not-here, now and then.

The thing with projections is that they’re literally made of nothing. No substance, just light.

Ghosts, effectively.

Exhibit B: randomly discovered on the web (which I suppose is itself both everywhere and no-where)

Close relatives to ghosts = endangered species; things-about-to-die.

In Copenhagen in 2008, WWF ran a climate change campaign using ‘beamvertising’ to project a giant panda racing across the cityscape.

The same year, in New York, HBO’s ‘Voyeur’ campaign used a similar projection-on-buildings method to make a statement about the weird doubleness of fiction – how stories can be both invented and yet feel utterly true.

The way invented characters can feel realer than real people, substantial and yet substanceless.

In a word, again: ghosts.

Exhibit C: my newborn nephew

This is self-indulgent, yup.

But what better reminder of the weirdness of presence and absence than the fact that this whole little person now exists.

And yet just a few hours ago, he officially didn’t


4 thoughts on “gaps and spaces 2

  1. 1. Thanks durand. I’m sure he will 🙂

    2. That’s fascinating… but slightly, i fear, optimistic.

    As a memorial, though, the idea of projecting a giant floating holographic temple over Jerusalem is beautiful, and stunning.

    It reminds me of the ‘Tribute in Light’ memorial to the September 11 victims, actually – the twin beams of light projected into the sky from Ground Zero. So ethereal. Phantoms.

  2. This may be my favorite post that you’ve written Deb. I am completely with you on the idea of using light (something that ‘exists’ but not in the same tangible way that other things do) as a memorial to what once existed.

    Congratulations on the new nephew, he’s adorable 🙂

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