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CLOSE-UP: POTENTIAL ENERGY

View of “Cerith Wyn Evans,” 2011, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway. From left: S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R= U=C=T=U=R=E (“Trace me back to some loud, shallow, chill, underlying motive’s overspill . . .”), 2010; Untitled (Flute Piece Incarnation Bergen Kunsthall), 2011. Photo: Thor Brødreskift.

IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE the seven light columns of Cerith Wyn Evans’s S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E (“Trace me back to some loud, shallow, chill, underlying motive’s overspill . . .”), 2010, Norway’s Bergen Kunsthall had to make special arrangements with its power company. The amount of electricity needed to run these stacks of tube-formed glass lightbulbs containing old-fashioned filament technology (the work requires a staggering 123,050 watts at full capacity) meant that the institution had to drill through two concrete floors to make way for new high-capacity cables, as if preparing for some kind of industrial production. The expense involved was at a level one would normally associate with investment rather than with exhibition. But S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E is anything but economically productive in conventional terms. A miniature Las Vegas hidden inside the austere walls

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