Light, Seeking Light
This exhibition featured four artists, each given a space or two to herself, making for a spare show with a wealth of detail. The works were linked thematically by light and its affective qualities.
The show stemmed from our interest in commissioning a new installation from the painter Mary Temple. She worked with three assistants for more than a week to produce a stunning, barely visible work on the walls and to lay a new wooden floor in Western Bridge’s main gallery. Painting in white on pale gray walls, Temple produced the effect of a beam of light crossing the space, casting shadows of a forest. The work, Raise, denatured our experience of the gallery and its industrial surroundings by naturalizing them.
Solange Fabião presented three long, real-time high-definition videos of Amazonian landscapes, transformed in visible and audible ways by the arrival or departure of the sun’s light at sunrise or sunset. Claire Cowie’s profusion of moths, dipped in plaster, painted in watercolors applied with a loose but loving hand, and assembled like fishing lures, swarmed around the artificial light sources in Western Bridge’s entrance and stair. In Susan Philipsz’s work Here Comes Everybody the artist sings a song, “Trees and Flowers,” which was played through speakers in two galleries, one lighted, the other dark. In the dark the song played as a solo, in the lighted room as a three-part harmony based on the tradition of shape-note singing. The song is sung in the voice of an agoraphobe who wants only to stay inside, as the city comes to life around her room. The choral voices in the lighted gallery then made company out of a single voice.