From 16 August to 17 September, parallel to the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival, the UNESCO City of Media Arts Karlsruhe will show nine artworks by local and international media artists and collectives in urban and digital space. As part of the program, the artist collective VOLNA, who will be artist-in-residence at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in 2023, will present a new installation that uses laser projections to powerfully illustrate the theme of perspective in relation to the transformative nature of human existence.
Through the arrangement of two laser projectors facing each other and a series of narrow black dividing screens placed between them, the installation unfolds vanishing points as an abstract representation of this transformative journey. The interplay of ephemeral colored light surfaces and outlines creates a compelling visual narrative inspired by baroque two-fluctuation-point perspective studies, encouraging viewers to engage with the idea of constant change and question the supposed supratemporality of their own perspective.
“Fluchtpunkte is a light installation that symbolically explores the transformative nature of our existence. As people traverse space and time, their perspectives continuously change, offering new insights into the reality they experience. Conversely, they are also constantly placed in new contexts by the world around them, which is constantly changing,” the artists comment on their artwork.
“Karlsruhe is a new place for us, whose peculiarity we can feel just now that we discover it. The idea of the installation Fluchtpunkte was inspired by the Baroque layout of the city, which is known to be based on the perspective construction of streets arranged in a radiating pattern towards the castle or the sun. This was one of the most popular urban planning solutions of the 18th century. In the art of this era, too, new means of expression were quickly sought. One of the discoveries and most popular techniques of the Baroque period was the use of perspective constructions with two points of convergence or vanishing points. Thanks to these it was possible to give dynamics or movement and depth to the two-dimensional painting space. Compared to the well-known one vanishing point perspective, which had prevailed in the Renaissance, two vanishing points opened up new possibilities for giving the depicted cityscape a strong dramaturgical expression. This was the starting point for our artistic experiments.”
In the light scenarios of the installation, two vanishing points can be seen – two laser projectors whose beams directed at each other meet. At their intersection, the illusion of a three-dimensional object is created, which is perceived as such only because of the perspective of the viewer. In this way, one of the basic concepts of classical art theory lives on in the media installation of the VOLNA artists and reveals how much our perception can depend on the formal construction of our reality.
Since the founding of VOLNA in 2016, the artists around Snezhana Vinogradova and Nikita Golyshev have been engaged in expansive visual art and interdisciplinary art practices using various technologies. These include site-specific projects, scenographic works, large-scale light works and kinetic installations, as well as unconventional exhibition formats, educational and architectural projects.
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