SHARJAH.- Sharjah Art Foundation
presents I Look To You And I See Nothing, an exhibition that features immersive sound environments, light installations, and contemplative spaces that explore the boundaries of the viewerʼs perception. Curated by Olivier Varenne and Nicole Durling, I Look To You And I See Nothing was co-organised by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania, Australia and Sharjah Art Foundation. Participating artists in this exhibition include Mathieu Briand, Sophie Calle, Shezad Dawood, Gino de Dominicis, Ivana Franke, Fabien Giraud, Kurt Hentschläger, Ryoji Ikeda, Terence Koh, Anish Kapoor, Teresa Margolles, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Guiseppe Penone, Raphael Siboni, Lawrence Weiner, and Gregorio Zanon. This exhibition is being held in Building P and J at SAF Art Spaces from November 16, 2013 to February 16, 2014.
Also part of this exhibition is a monumental light installation by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda who presented an audiovisual concert at this yearʼs Sharjah Biennial, which received more than 80,000 visitors through its duration. For the first time in the Middle East and for a few nights only, the site specific installation entitled spectra was on view at Flag Island Sharjah on November 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23, 2013. After previously been shown in major cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hobart in Australia, Nagoya in Japan, and Paris; the Sharjah iteration of this installation included 49 custom-made xenon lights arranged in a grid pointing skyward. The artwork formed a monumental column of light from sunset to sunrise. The powerful light was projected thousands of metres as it reached the Earthʼs stratosphere and was visible in Sharjah as well as neighbouring Emirates. This interactive installation allowed visitors to walk through the lights at ground level, looking up at the clouds, listening to the waves of sound washing over them. Even though Ikedaʼs cutting-edge digital technology is informed by mathematics of the utmost precision, every individualʼs experience of this work is entirely different.
I Look To You And I See Nothing presents a series of interactive works including Kurt Hentschlägerʼs ZEE; an installation filled with fog so dense that the space seems boundless and the disoriented visitor feels almost weightless. Strobe lights illuminate the fog in an evenly dispersed manner, creating kaleidoscopic three-dimensional structures in constant animation whilst an ambient and minimal soundscape connects to the imagery. Gregorio Zanonʼs Music in the Room is an interactive work that includes 10 tablets and a small set of piano samples, and the viewers will become a part of the composition as they move around the work. Shezad Dawood will present New Dream Machine Project, an immersive kinetic light sculpture that is designed to emit hypnotic light waves towards the audience.
Anish Kapoorʼs Imagined Monochrome is designed to give the participant an experience of monochromatic colour while receiving a massage. Italian sculptor and conceptual artist Guiseppe Penone will present a striking portrait entitled Rovesciare i propri occhi (To Reverse Oneʼs Eyes), which depicts him wearing mirrored contact lenses he had custom made, rendering him blind and offering the viewer his sight instead. The multi-sensory elements that are included in the works cause a series of events that gather in the viewerʼs mind, questioning the real, and reconfiguring our own physical world. Experiences are synthesised within the viewerʼs own brain and each individualʼs experience is a component where the viewer becomes a part of the exhibition.