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1000 WORDS: JAMES TURRELL

Digital rendering of James Turrell’s Aten Reign, 2013, a site-specific installation for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Renderings: Andreas Tjeldflaat.

LIGHT MAKES VISION POSSIBLE yet paradoxically remains beyond our vision most of the time. Changing this “beyond” condition of light into a proximate and bodily experience has been James Turrell’s artistic objective for almost fifty years. From relatively small gallery-based light projections that create the appearance of floating planes or cubes (Afrum-Proto, 1966; Decker, 1967) to one-person booths or apparatuses that invite individuals to experience concentrated doses of sensory stimulation (the Perceptual Cells, including Alien Exam, 1989; Close Call, 1992; Gasworks, 1993; and Bindu Shards, 2010) to installations made of strategic cuts in walls or ceilings to frame natural light or direct artificial lights (Virga, 1974; City of Arhirit, 1976; Hover, 1983; and all Skyspaces) to large-scale walk-in environments of either deep darkness or mysteriously gaseous luminosity (the

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