31.01 - 16.03.2014

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Gabey Tjon a Tham. ))))) repetition at my distance, 2012

Opening on January 30, 7 p.m.
Press show on January 30, 6 p.m.

Place National centre for contemporary arts


National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), International Festival TodaysArt and the Moscow city galleries network present LUCIDA Space, an exhibition dedicated to the phenomenon of light in contemporary culture.

Such a huge project dedicated to light is a first-time event in Moscow: “masters of light” from all over the world will present their works at LUCIDA Space. Participating artists turn to light as the defining moment in their artistic pursuits, transforming it into a unique creative tool. The exhibition space at NCCA will bring together art objects that embody all kinds of light techniques to fully relay the elusive magic of light. Every artist has his own dialogue with light: through sound and color, through video and digital technologies, through filmmaking techniques, painting, photography, and installations.

The Moscow audience will get a rare chance to see the works of famous artists from Russia, Austria, Germany, Netherlands and the USA, who use light as a creative tool. Project artists actively use artificial, technological light in their works, demonstrating the principal changes taking place in our civilization. Its images interact with natural light, opening up new aspects of our life and culture.

The project is hosted by four spaces: the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (January 31 – March 16), and Moscow city galleries “Na Kashirke” (February 14 – March 9), “Gallery "Belyaevo” (February 27 – March 23), “Peresvetov Pereulok” (March 6 – 30). The spaces belonging to the Moscow city galleries network will host thematic exhibitions. “Na Kashirke” Hall will demonstrate the phenomenon of light in media formats – film, photography and conceptual objects. The exhibition at “Peresvetov Pereulok” will examine the evolution of the interpretation of the phenomenon of light in art, from painting to new media. “Gallery "Belyaevo” will build its exhibit around Kazimir Malevich’s idea of the shift of natural light paradigms into technological ones, whereby artificial light starts to dominate the natural one.

The project is accompanied by an education program: during the exhibition NCCA will organize lectures by renowned experts in visual art on forms of using light in media, fashion, architecture and urban space.
As part of the parallel program NCCA will host screenings of films featuring light experiments, including John Cage’s One 11 with 103 and director Peter Tscherkassky’s Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine.


From the foreword to the exhibition catalog:

Light in January
Light is a very special substance which makes a powerful impact on man, on all viewers of light. One can even speak of light as a transcendental substance. Indeed, our esthetic perception attaches enormous significance to light and its role in art.
One of the strongest impressions of my childhood is a Christmas tree decorated with real wax candles. I realize that my memory retained that picture also due to a little fire created by the burning candles, but my memories are of the wonderful light rather than the fire.
That impression was a prelude to a dotted line of other personal impressions that were already associated with art : Kuindzhi (that was from my school days’ excursions to the Tretyakov Art Gallery), Falk, Impressionists, Rembrandt, Georges Rouault, Odilon Redon, Byzantine mosaics, Skryabin’s experiments, László Moholy-Nagy, Georgy Gidoni’s research, and much else.
Resorting to the history of arts this mixed collection can be easily supplemented and sorted out. As for the present exhibition it is more important to put it in the context of contemporary art. Different treatments of light as the determining factor of their art strategies can be found in the works of such masters as Dan Flavin, François Morel, Christian Boltanski, Dani Karavan, Koichi Tanaka, Keith Sonnier, James Turrell, to name a few. To describe this phenomenon, critics invented special terminology : light painting, light sculpture, luminous kinetic pictures, lumino-ambienta, laser painting, light graffiti, Light Art, which have not become quite widespread yet in the professional Russian vocabulary.
Contemporary art’s interest in light effects has been largely inspired by the 20th-century technologies,  architecture, and urban studies, and now it risks being swallowed by them — something we already witness happening in New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and also in Moscow where the present exhibition is taking place. A thirst for bright spectacles and shows, the general commercialization of culture are not good for art. At the same time, I can’t help mentioning that my nineyear-old son is learning to create light graffiti at the children’s
art studio attached to the National Center for Contemporary Art that organized this exhibition “ Lucida Space ”. Art is alive and it will live a complex and interesting life. This is what the exhibition is all about.

Leonid Bazhanov
Artistic Director, NCCA


Project is also represented at venues of the Moscow city galleries network:
February 14 – March 9, State Art Gallery "Na Kashirke"
February 27 – March 23, State Exhibition Hall "Gallery "Belyaevo"
March 6 – March 30, State Exhibition Hall "Peresvetov pereulok"


Organizers NCCA, International Festival TodaysArt
Co-organizer Moscow city galleries network
Partners Goethe Institute, The Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in Russia
Sponsor Mondriaan Fund
With the support of the New Art Foundation

Curators Vitaly Patsyukov (NCCA), Olof van Winden (TodaysArt)
Artists Tatyana Badanina, Eric Bulatov, John Cage, Marina Chernikova, Anouk De Clercq, Alexey Dyakov, Mariska de Groot, Francisco Infante, Roman Inkeles, Ilya Kabakov, Sergey Katran, Andreas Kaufmann, Anna Koleychuk, Vyacheslav Koleychuk, Tatyana and Sergey Kostrikov, Oleg Koshelets, Maxim Ksuta, Alexander Lysov, molitor&kuzmin (Vladimir Kuzmin and Ursula Molitor), Matthijs Munnik, Anton Olshvang, Alexander Pankin, Alexander Pettai, Vladimir Potapov, The Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia (Moscow), Mikhail Roshnyak, Sergey Shutov, Vladimir Smolyar, Vladimir Tarasov, Peter Tcherkassky, Gabey Tjon a Tham, Leonid Tishkov, Alla Urban, Iannis Xenakis, Maria Yakunina, Sergey Zagny



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