John Hurrell – 25 March, 2020
On the upper outside walls of the theatre/conference room complex of Aotea Square, we see six rectangular sections below, five divisions above—grouped slivers of butted together greens, purples, mauves and blues: all constantly shifting horizontally in timed co-ordination—and subtly changing angles of direction too.
Curated by Gabriela Salgado
11 March - 29 March 2020 (sunset to 11 pm)
*The above dates were set before the Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown. They will be extended to May.
In this moving projected light installation, Chromointerference by the Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez—one of the stars of the touring Light Show, the wonderful international Tate show that came to AAG about six years ago—we experience a work proposed for the Auckland Arts Festival by Te Tuhi‘s artistic director, Gabriela Salgado.
On the upper outside walls of the theatre / conference room complex of Aotea Square (Aotea Centre Wrap), we see six rectangular sections below, five divisions above—grouped slivers of butted together greens, purples, mauves and blues: all constantly shifting horizontally in timed co-ordination—and subtly changing angles of direction.
They might be seen as akin to Bridget Riley’s ‘stripe’ paintings like Zing 1 (1971) where bending lines of stripes seem to be partially exposed through the vertical slots of a frontal barrier (like a magic lantern). However, one uses in its optical principles, additive colour, the other subtractive. Directly projected (emitted) light and paint (with reflected light) work on the eye in very different ways.
Chromointerference might also be compared to paintings with after-images (created by the viewer’s retina and brain, not applied paint) like those of New Zealander Ray Thorburn or American Richard Anuskiewicz—comparing apples with oranges—though, as the late Cruz-Diez noted, other colours are being generated within each greyish hazy section.
The photos presented here were taken well before the (now Covid-19 cancelled) Auckland Arts Festival was running—with all the additional structures in Aotea Square. Initially when you visited at night, it was very visually busy, confusing architecturally, and with lots of distracting, competing light sources. With the Festival abandoned, the experience is now more close to Sam Hartnett’s images, which are clear in the way they showcase Cruz-Diez‘s project in an uncluttered environs. (Several times throughout this article I have placed links to Cruz-Diez’s research in colour, and aims as an artist.)
The movement on Aotea Centre Wrap of the diagonal and vertical lines is a key component, the mingling of the hues and the generation of new ones—best experienced in the flesh. Sadly and ironically—because Cruz-Diez was very interested in the power of the social—preferably looked at (in isolation) by yourself.
After the current lockdown (hopefully in late April) it is intended to screen a series of films on Carlos Cruz-Diez on the Auckland Live Digital Stage. Please check its website then for details.