Mixed Media / 20 x 3 x 5 m / 2007
According to Rosalind Krauss, illusionism is the effect of a certain cultural conditioning, determining that any rectangular surface is seen through the space and perspective of a window view, and any two juxtaposed colors as situated on different representational planes. As Donald Judd expressed it, ‘anything spaced in a rectangle or on a plane suggests something in its surround, which suggests an object or figure in space, in which these are clearer instances of a similar world – that is the main purpose of painting’.
This ubiquitous ‘illusionism’ in art is the starting point for ‘Untitled’, an installation made for the Cadiz exhibition at the ‘Old Church’ in Amsterdam. In an almost literal translation of Krauss and Judd’s statements, ‘Untitled’ researches into the relation between space, art and illusionism.
A large rectangular canvas, covered with only a basic layer of gesso, is put up from the attic of the church via plain metal wires. These wires are not clearly visible due to the ìllumination inside the church. The canvas is placed in such a way that it can be experienced from all sides. Directly opposite of the canvas, separated by a distance of 5 meters, a metal frame of seemingly similar dimensions is positioned parallel to the canvas. A white rope is used to put up the frame, which two ends converge through a hole in the ceiling, thus defining a closed triangle in space.
A video camera, facing the canvas, monitors every second of the raw canvas’ existence, and its recording is projected through the metal window into space using a high intensity beamer. No projection can be seen, when taken the beamer’s perspective, while the viewer is blinded by the bluish light of the beamer, when looking straight at it from the opposite side of the metal frame.