Hey guys, the two installations I will be discussing created by artist, Refik Anadol, were found in Pittsburgh while my boyfriend and I attended the PMEA State Conference with Marywood’s NAfME chapter. Although I saw a ton of artwork that weekend, Anadol’s instillations were hypnotizing and I really wanted to reflect upon my experience.
Refik Anadol’s two instillations (“Infinity Room” and “Liminality”) were very minimalist but compelling nonetheless. Upon walking into the “Infinity Room”, my boyfriend, Patrick, and I were prompted by gallery runners at the Wood Street Gallery in Pittsburgh to cover our shoes with these booties that prevented scratching on the glass in the “Infinity Room”. We were also told that photography was prohibited and I only carried a small sketchbook and a pen with me inside.
We were led into this small, carefully constructed space with glass on the ceiling and the floor which enhanced the idea of infinity-it looked like our figures went on forever and forever. The door was closed on us, the light went out, and white images were projected onto the black walls along with loud music to accompany the moving white lines. It’s incredibly hard to describe the imagery (some of it looked like long exposures of stars at night, some of it looked like melting silver) and every time the imagery changed, so did the pulsating music to match said imagery. The combination of light and sound honestly made it feel like we were in there forever and it’s an experience I won’t forget.
The second instillation titled “Liminality” was upstairs and photography was allowed. Patrick and I didn’t stay in this one as long, but immediately upon walking in this space, it was much larger and open and the room was again only filled with white light with the exception of a smoke machine that enhanced the light waves reaching across the room. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary describes liminality as “of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold : barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response” which I believe suits the instillation just fine. The passing waves of light in this open space made you feel as if you were passing through some sort of “sensory threshold”.
Anadol’s work is really something special. His use of light almost seems spiritual and the spaces are very meditative if you allow yourself to stop and just be in the moment. If you do find yourself in Pittsburgh the instillations are unfortunately taken down as they were up from January 25 to April 7th but more of his work is still installed at Atrechouse in NY through May 1st (http://woodstreetgalleries.org/portfolio-view/refik-anadol-opening-with-the-gallery-crawl-jan-25th-530-10pm/).