‘Light Show’ at the Hayward Gallery, London

‘Light Show’ at the Hayward Gallery, London

An interactive and dynamic exhibition, ‘Light Show’ at the Hayward Gallery is another winner following a truly outstanding run of shows. Anthony Mccall’s piece (fist image) consists of beamed curved light in a pitch back space with a smoke machine, making the light tunnel seem almost solid and when you stand inside, it appears as if you are shrouded in smokey walls and the rest of the audience are ghostly figures with their limbs and faces briefly appearing inside your tunnel.

Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Chromosaturation (second image) is divided into three coloured rooms and when immersed in the space you can only see in that colour, making everyone appear in different shades of green, blue or red. Each room has a slightly different mood as if everyone was subconsciously affected by the colour, the blue room felt cool and silent, whilst the red area was more upbeat and people were chatting and moving around.

Featuring over 20 artists ‘Light Show’ is a visual treat and a reminder of the importance and prevalence of artificial light. At times there are moments of serious reflection, Jenny Holzer’s LED circular text column displays words from official US Documents about the war on terror, and Iván Navarro’s mirrored phone-booth, puts the viewer under semi-involuntary surveillance and uses one-way mirrors that are also used in interrogation rooms. He grew up in Chile during the dictatorship of General Pinochet and Navarro draws much of his work from the regime’s systems of control and repression.

The grand finale is a truly spectacular feat from Olafur Eliasson, a row of fountains sit in a pitch black room, where strobe lights pound and create an illusion of the water flow being stopped in time. Minuscule droplets and edges of the water appear immobilised, and for a second you can see the frozen shapes of exquisite foundations.

Hayward Gallery, Southbank, London

‘Light Show’ ends 6th May (book tickets as this show is extremely popular!) 


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