Nina Könnemann, Cone, 2008, HD video, color, sound, 4 minutes.

Nina Könnemann

Halle für Kunst Lüneburg

Nina Könnemann, Cone, 2008, HD video, color, sound, 4 minutes.

The “Illuminations” of Blackpool have been a tradition for more than 120 years. An English seaside town that drew early waves of mass tourism, Blackpool reinvented itself—after a slow season in 1879—as an early adapter of electrification. Since then, it has transformed into a flashy sea of light for a few weeks each fall. At its inception, the display must have been spectacular and new, but these days it seems an antiquated curiosity, conjuring a British Las Vegas with the feel of a folk festival: garish, colorful, loud—and extraordinarily popular. Not only are streets and buildings completely draped with lights, but vast quantities of incandescent bulbs and neon tubes are also used to construct kitschy figures planted throughout the townscape: These range from monsters, dwarves, and aliens to fairy-tale icons, cartoon heroes, and absurd amateur fantasy characters.

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