New York City based artist Anthony McCall’s exhibition at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnof transforms simple beams of light into a visceral experience. Called “Five Minutes of Pure Sculpture,” the exhibition takes over the museum’s main hall, darkening the windows and skylights to near pitch black. Inside, seven beams of light shoot from the ceilings and walls, inviting visitors to linger inside to see the incredible illusions within the beams.
When entering the gallery, visitors are first greeted with two light sculptures projected from the walls. Each visitor can approach and look into the beam, which simulates a vision of an abyss while a geometric shape is thrown on the opposite wall.
In the main hall, the light sculpture beams emit from a point near the ceiling directed toward the museum floor. This creates gauzy looking triangular forms which touch the floor, appearing like enclosed tipis or even retractor beams from a science fiction movie. The forms slowly morph into different shapes on the floors and walls. The transformations are made by programmed algorithms on a computer.
Inside the beams, visitors may lie on the floor and gaze up at the light forms from within. A gentle haze of smoke is passed through each, which can create the illusion of fluffy clouds passing over a full moon at night, or band together and appear like thick solid columns of white. Each is ever-changing, which makes for an incredible and meditative experience for the viewer.
McCall’s light sculptures can be experienced in the main hall of the Hamburger Bahnof Museum until August 12th.