Almost a year ago, David Abir installed a sculpture in the LA Mart’s basement that forever rattled my experience on Earth. And now, after some time has passed, he has constructed several more structures that have only gone on to further enhance the feeling I grasped onto when I initially saw them. Sadly, it’s pretty much impossible to photograph the pieces correctly, since part of their mystique is the low ambient light surrounding the room. And when the flash goes off on your camera, you’re basically voiding yourself the enjoyment of seeing the greatest magic trick performed correctly.
Light, shadow, and the human figure feature prominently in the recent works of photographer Dusdin Condren. Whether looking at an arm amputated by shadows or a woman posing Lee Miller-like in the striated light of a nearby window, there is a certain surreal, but serene viewing experience to be had with these photographs. The sometime use of black-and-white certainly increases this special effect.
British artist Anthony McCall (born 1946) has a cross-disciplinary practice in which film, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance overlap. McCall was a key figure in the avant-garde London Film-makers Co-operative in the 1970s and his earliest films are documents of outdoor performances that were notable for their minimal use of the elements, most notably fire. After moving to New York in 1973, McCall continued his fire performances and developed his ‘solid light’ film series, conceiving the now-legendary Line Describing a Cone (watch a video of a gallery-goer’s interaction with it), in 1973. These works are simple projections that strikingly emphasise the sculptural qualities of a beam of light. If you want to know more about the light magician, you can read an interview with Anthony by the writers at BOMB Magazine.