Lighting Design & Specification

January 23, 2018

From November 30, 2017 to January 21, 2018, two Canadians were among international artists showing work designed exclusively for the sixth Amsterdam Light Festival. Organizers received 900 submissions from 45 different countries, and chose only 36.

A water exhibition comprised 21 artworks on and around the canals in the historical centre of Amsterdam. A land exhibition of 15 artworks toook place on Marineterrein Amsterdam. This year's participating artists, designers and architects from Australia, Belgium, China, Canada, England, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States based their work on a central theme: ‘Existential’.

The influence of light plays a leading role in Reanna Niceforo and Phil Sutherland’s project “Enlightened?” Niceforo and Sutherland are both from Toronto. The installation’s photo booth is not meant to take a photograph but instead, makes you become aware of the process essential for taking a shot: exposure. Once you step up to the window in the booth, light hits you from different directions and with varying intensities. You see the result in front of you, which is exposed to bystanders outside via a projection. The effect is quite dramatic: every few seconds you can change into a completely different person with varying temperaments from seductive to evil.

Niceforo and Sutherland were inspired by an allegory of Plato; a man, trapped in a cave, perceives only transient shadows and echoes (our daily reality) but never comes into contact with real life (the perfect, ordered world). We have the illusion that there is only one true version of ourselves.

Niceforo and Sutherland shed light on the fact that this one version does not exist at all: our self-image is like a shadow on the wall of the cave. With regards to the perception we have of ourselves, we are far from “illuminated.” And if the image we have of ourselves is so different, what does that say about the other firm assumptions we hold about the world around us?

Find out more about the festival: https://amsterdamlightfestival.com/en

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