The Light Inside (1999) by James TurrellThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
For centuries, artists have tried to capture light in paint, in the twentieth century artists began to turn to light itself as a medium…
Turrell's strangely-lit installations play with perception. It's not clear where exactly the floors and walls begin and end. Let your eyes adjust, and as you move tentatively through the space, you'll see the subtle shift of colours and shadows.
Cloud for Kochi (2012-12-12/2013-03-17) by Alfredo JaarKochi-Muziris Biennale
No Borders Exist in Nature (2014) by Jae Eun ChoiDurham University
This simple statement is charged by its context. Its free-flowing script and power cables are suggestive of the free movement that it advocates.
Platform for discussion (1971/1999) by Jerzy FedorowiczUjazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
Polish artist Jerzy Fedorowicz developed this Platform for Discussion in 1971. The grid of neon lights hangs at head height, the rings designate where people can stand. The idea being that it facilitates discussions without favouring any particular person.
The irony is that this forces people into uncomfortable positions, and that the bright, buzzing neon lights are distractions from conversation. The artist, a specialist in art therapy, demonstrates how attempts to force creative discussion are often doomed the fail.
Shortcuts (2005/2005) by Ivan NavarroBorusan Contemporary
The primary colours, and the notion of a shortcut, connects this artworks to styles and concepts used in video games. But the deep, dark abyss at the centre of each of the portals suggests that where they lead is nowhere nice.
Fonti di energia, soffitto al neon per “Italia 61”, a Torino (1961/2017) by Lucio FontanaPirelli HangarBicocca
Fontana created many light installations like this, naming them ambienti spaziali, or 'spatial environments'. They are Fontana’s most experimental yet least-known works, as they were almost always destroyed once the exhibition was over.
Two Lovers by Zoulikha BouabdellahBarjeel Art Foundation
This artwork is Bouabdella's way of showing that, far from Western stereotypes, Arabic is not a repressive language, and Arabic women are capable of openly expressing themselves and their desires.
Naos (2001 - 2001) by Diego EspositoCAMUSAC Cassino Museum of Contemporary Art
Naos is a space of mystery. Its golden light is enticing, and tempts you to gaze inside, while its solid form and dazzling brightness demands reverent respect. It feels as if the sun itself is contained within this imposing cube.
Counter Void (2003) by Tatsuo MiyajimaMeiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art
Miyajima links the white and black screens to a cycle of life and death. As the numbers count down, they present a 6 digit number. This number may, at any point, have some kind of meaning to a passerby. But - like life - none of this is intentional, it's simply pure chance.
Life, Death, Love, Hate, Pleasure, Pain (1983) by Bruce Naumanla Biennale di Venezia - Biennale Arte 2015
The circle suggests that somehow these feelings are eternal and inextricably linked together. In fact, you'd find few artists who disagree, but rather than allude to this idea through other media, Nauman's neon tubes make it as clear as day.