Exhibited for the first time in Paris, the Austrian artist Erwin Redl installs his monumental luminous work in the heart of the 400m2 of the EDF Foundation. Light Matters. A two-storey, quasi-architectural work of art composed of thousands of programmable blue and red LEDs, which reflect the emotional states of the visitors who pass through it. Conceived as a labyrinth, Light Matters invites to penetrate and experiment a sensitive digital universe, playing between matter and light, real and virtual.
Exposed for the first time in Paris, Austrian artist Erwin Redl reverses the traditional relationship between virtual and real. At the heart of the 400 m2 of the EDF Group Foundation, he has created an immersive work composed of thousands of programmable blue and red LEDs, which translate the emotional states that visitors experience, literally inviting them to penetrate and experience this digital and sensory universe. With this installation, which is part of the MATRIX series (United States, Austria, Italy, Germany, South Korea...), Erwin Redl translates into physical space the abstract aesthetic language of virtual reality and 3D modelling, structuring an architectural environment through large light installations.
Light Matters an immersive light installation leading to a total experience
Visitors enter a maze of LED lights spread over two floors and whose tones slowly change between red and blue. These two colours delimit the visible colour spectrum as well as that of human emotions. Red represents the extreme of sensuality and blue its cold and rational counterpoint.
The immersive aesthetic experience combined with particularly sophisticated technological aspects blurs the boundary between real and virtual. With the architectural dimension of the work, anyone who is simply "present" becomes a real part of it by becoming an integral part of the installation. Erwin Redl thus plays between matter and light, the real and the virtual, questioning the place of the body and its sensations in their relationship to the work of art and the digital world.
Matrix XV (2007) - Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, California - Photograph: Ace Gallery
In this new "matrix", the space is then perceived as a second skin, the social skin that envelops each visitor during this confusing physical experience.
A virtual world where the disappearance of the body in the work questions the disappearance of matter and the self and up to the disappearance of the human, history, space and time.
Two other pieces are presented on the occasion of this exhibition: Reflection, on Patterns and Signs v2 and Dial, White-Red White-Blue v2.
Erwin Redl, an outstanding artist
Erwin Redl was born in Gföhl, Austria, in 1963. He moved to the United States in 1993 and lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, and New York City. His work stems from a mixture of conceptual-structural thinking and a total mastery of traditional as well as electronic media. With a master's degree in digital art (School of Visual Arts, New York) and a bachelor's degree in music composition (University of Vienna), the artist is free to extend his practice beyond the context commonly associated with the visual arts. The size of his installations very often reaches almost architectural proportions.
His work was exhibited at the 2002 Whitney Biennial in the form of a grid of LED lights covering the entire museum façade. In 2017, his huge light installation "Whiteout" occupied a prominent place in Madison Square Park in the heart of Manhattan. The work incorporated hundreds of suspended white spheres, each equipped with a programmable LED light bulb to form a luminous white carpet across the central lawn of the park.
His works are part of the collections of the most prestigious national and international institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul, as well as leading private collections.
For the Light Matters exhibition, Erwin Redl is advised by Richard Castelli, Director of EPIDEMIC.
Light Matters at the EDF Foundation from November 30, 2018 to February 3, 2019 - 6 rue Récamier - 75007 - Paris