Anthony McCall, Crossing the Elbe. Aufnahme vom Lichttest an den Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Foto © Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Frank Bode.

Anthony McCall, Lichtstrahl vom Dach der Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg-Harburg (Ausschnitt). Foto: Henning Rogge / Deichtorhallen.

Anthony McCall Light Installation Shines across the Elbe in Hamburg

Anthony McCall, Überblick über das Projekt von Anthony McCall Crossing the Elbe, Abb. © Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Ehsan Soheyli Rad/Kühle&Mozer.

Anthony McCall, Überblick des Hamburger Stadtgebietes, über dem das Projekt von Anthony McCal Crossing the Elbe zu sehen sein wird. Abb. © Ehsan Soheyli Rad. Courtesy Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

Anthony McCall, Lichtstrahl vom Dach der Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg-Harburg. Foto: Henning Rogge / Deichtorhallen.

 

Deichtorhallen Hamburg
IBA Hamburg
Sammlung Falckenberg
Deichtorstrasse 1-2
+ 49 (0)40/32103-0
Hamburg
Anthony McCall. Crossing the Elbe
March 22, 2013-March 22, 2014

To mark the opening of IBA Hamburg’s presentation year, British artist Anthony McCall realizes a light project for Hamburg Deichtorhallen, which began March 22, 2013. The project reimagines the "Leap across the Elbe" in visual terms.

Three searchlights project slender beams of white light towards one another from three different locations — from the roof of the SPIEGEL building next to Deichtorhallen in Hamburg Neustadt, from the bunker in Wilhelmsburg, and from the Deichtorhallen – Falckenberg Collection in Hamburg-Harburg, thus linking the Elbe island with both the north and the south banks of the river. Over the year, these three horizontal beams of light progressively rotate their angles of direction so that, one by one, all sections of the city become part of this symbolic leap.

Starting ninety minutes after sunset, »Crossing the Elbe« will be visible for 10-minutes every evening for a whole year in most parts of the sky between Deichtorhallen Hamburg and Deichtorhallen – Falckenburg Collection in Harburg. Anthony McCall: »Our habits as we work and live stay pretty constant in clock time. So there is a possibility of intersecting with the work in different times of peoples life habits. I like the idea that you'll see it late at night a certain time of the year, another time you might see it early. And all these are legitimate ways of looking at something that is just above our heads.«

The project is a collaboration between Deichtorhallen Hamburg and IBA. It was realized by Tim Hupe Architects. We are indebted to the Property Management section of the Ministry of Finance and SPIEGEL publishers for their generous support.

Since the early 1970s Anthony McCall has been working with projected light. His »solid-light« installations occupy a space between line-drawing, cinema, and sculpture: fundamentally graphic, they are realized through the mediums of film or digital projection and the effect created is that of large-scale, three-dimensional sculptures composed of shifting membranes of light. Viewing becomes an active process of moving around and through the projected object, exploring it from different points of view. To the extent that viewers are incorporated into the forms and thus become part of what is seen, McCall’s light installations also suggest a relationship to performance. ANTHONY McCALL’s work has been widely exhibited: at Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum fur Gegenwart - Berlin; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, amongst many others.

Anthony McCall auf dem Dach des Spiegel Verlagshauses. Foto: © IBA Hamburg / Sandra Platzer.

Anthony McCall, Crossing the Elbe. Aufnahme vom Lichttest an den Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Foto © Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Frank Bode.

Anthony McCall auf dem Dach der Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg-Harburg. Foto: Henning Rogge / Deichtorhallen.

Anthony McCall, You and I Horizontal, 2006, © Anthony McCall, Installationsbild från Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2006).

Anthony McCall

Navigating through Anthony McCall's Membrane-Like Layers of Light

Anthony McCall, You and I Horizontal, 2006, © Anthony McCall, Installationsbild från Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2006).

Anthony McCall, Doubling Back, 2003© Anthony McCall, Installationsbild, Whitneybiennalen 2004.

Anthony McCall, You and I, Horizontal III, 2007, Installation view at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 2007, Solid light installation, 32-minute cycle in two parts, Computer, QuickTime movie file, two video projectors, two haze machines Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2008 Anthony McCall, Photograph © Sylvain Deleu.

Anthony McCall, Between You and I, 2009, Installation St. Cornelius Chapel, Governor's Island, New York, Courtesy Creative Time.

Anthony McCall, Between You and I, 2006, Sixteenth Minute. Installation at Peer/The Round Chapel, London, 2006. Photo by Hugo Glendenning, © Anthony McCall 2006.

 

Moderna Museet
Skeppsholmen
+ 46 8 5195 5200
Stockholm
Moderna Museet Now: Anthony McCall
October 10-December 6, 2009

By LARS NITTVE

Fascination, delight — and caution … The moods we experience are remarkably physical the first time we encounter Anthony McCall’s membranes of light that move osmotically between his strangely shifting spaces within the space. As soon as our eyes adjust to the dark, we experience something new: Solid Light — a material light, a sort of radiant, intricately folded membranes or walls that induce us to move cautiously and hesitantly.

The membrane-like walls of light emanate from one single projection point at the far end of the room; that is where our gaze first wants to go when we set out to navigate through the layers of light. But once we are enclosed in a three-dimensional radiating form and turn our gaze away from that fixed point, we soon discover that nothing is still. Everything is in motion. Not just me and the other visitors, moving like astral bodies through the stratums of light — but also the materialised light itself: on the wall we can see the white lines of a drawing slowly move, and in the process dragging along entire walls of light. Slowly, slowly, yet fast enough for us to perceive the movement.

What are seeing? What categories and concepts can we apply to handle this experience? An experience we have probably never had before… On a fundamental level, it is familiar to how a beam of the film projector cuts through darkness in the cinema. Or the second-hand experience of that, anyway, as it appears in photos or films from the past, when the cigarette smoke laid heavy in movie theatres … But it is also, despite ivague immateriality, related to the highly physical and filmic experience of moving through one of Richard Serra’s large sculptural works from the past 15 years — for instance, his Torqued Ellipses. But what we are seeing is also drawing — and isn’t there a strong sense of performance, with you, me' and other viewers as participants?

Ever since his early works dating from around 1970, Anthony McCall has created works that have been intensely sensual — made to experience — while imbued with an unmistakable philosophical dimension. Expressed in the rather hackneyed categories of isms, one could say that he has always operated in the field between minimalism and conceptual art.

Anthony McCall’s artistic career is, in many ways, fairly typical of artists in his generation — with one important exception. Born and educated in London, he graduated from art school, where he had focused on photography, in the midst of the student rebellions in 1968. He gradually moved from photography to performance and to what is sometimes called Structural Cinema, represented by film-makers such as Michael Snow and Hollis Frampton — the context in which McCall’s Solid Light works were made. He also gradually moved from London to New York, emigrating in 1973.

The first of his now legendary Solid Light films, Line Describing a Cone was actually first shown at Fylkingen in Stockholm on 30 August, 1973. During half an hour, a narrow ray of light was projected through the room by a 16 mm projector, slowly but steadily transforming into an arch, before finally cutting out a large cone of light in the dark room. This is basically the same experience we encounter today in McCall’s installations, although these old works were 16 mm animations. A few days after the Fylkingen show, McCall did a performance with fires, Fire Cycles II in a park in the centre of Stockholm (also organised by Fylkingens), and the following year, Malmö konsthall featured a group exhibition where all four films by McCall on the cone theme where shown, while Jean Sellem at Galleri St Petri in Lund showed Long Film for Ambient Light, a “film” without either film, camera, projectors or screen. The film was simply natural light that was filtered into the space. Light in space.

The fact is, that twenty-five years passed before the art world caught up with McCall’s works from the 1970s and started showing them in exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, the Whitney Museum and Tate Modern. And at the Whitney Biennial in 2004, Anthony McCall then took the audience by surprise with an entirely new work: Doubling Back. This work reverts to Line Describing a Cone dating thirty years back, but new technology enabled higher visuality and, above all, greater complexity, both in animation and projection and — now that the smoky and dusty lofts are definitely a thing of the past — the “fog” in the room required for the light to materialise. Doubling Back, which was recently acquired for the Moderna Museet collection, opens the second chapter in an oeuvre that has come to assume an absolutely central position in art at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

Beginning in the 1970s, Anthony McCall created art based on the beam of the film projector in the darkened cinema, working on the boundary between the most influential styles and genres in postwar art — minimalism, film, performance and drawing. In this exhibition, Moderna Museet presents two of his large light installations from the 2000s, along with numerous drawings.

"Anthony McCall was part of a circle that included many of the seminal artists of the 1960s — Richard Serra, Carolee Schneemann, Michael Snow and Joseph Kosuth, to name but a few — and addressed many of the issues they were dealing with, albeit in his own independent and idiosyncratic way. It is exciting now, to present this exhibition of McCall, following his wonderful comeback that started with the Whitney Biennial in 2004,” says Lars Nittve, Director of Moderna Museet and curator of Moderna Museet Now: Anthony McCall.

In 1973, Anthony McCall embarked on making the now legendary film series Solid Light. The first part, Line Describing a Cone, had its first screening at the experimental art space Fylkingen in Stockholm on 30 August the same year. During half an hour, a narrow ray of light was projected through the room by a 16 mm projector, first forming an arch and ultimately cutting out a large cone of light in the dark room.

This is basically the same sensual experience we may encounter today when we move in darkness through McCall’s luminous walls or membranes of light. But now they are sculpted using different technology, to achieve greater visuality and complexity, both in animation and projection. Suddenly it has become possible – now that smoky and dusty lofts are a thing of the past – to (re)create the filmic “fog” necessary for the light to materialise with the aid of a haze machine.

It was when Anthony McCall discovered this possibility that he decided to return to art, after a pause of nearly 25 years, making his acclaimed comeback at the Whitney Biennial in 2004 with an entirely new work, Doubling Back. This work, which was recently acquired for the Moderna Museet collection and is featured in the exhibition, initiated the second chapter in an oeuvre that has come to assume a central position in art at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

Anthony McCall was born in 1946 in the UK, but moved to New York when he was in his 30s. Since resuming his artistic work, he has participated in a large number of international solo and group exhibitions, at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Serpentine Gallery, to name but a few.

At the finissage, the last weekend of the exhibition, 4-6 December, Line Describing a Cone, 1973, will be shown in the right-hand gallery on Floor 2.

Curators of the exhibition are Lars Nittve with Jo Widoff.

 

Anthony McCall, You and I, Horizontal III 2007, Installation view at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2007, Solid light installation, 32-minute cycle in two parts, Computer, QuickTime movie file, two video projectors, two haze machines, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2007 Anthony McCall, Photograph Steven P. Harris.

Anthony McCall, Line Describing a Cone, 1973, Installation view at the Whitney Museum exhibition Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977, 2002, Solid light installation, 30 minutes, 16 mm film projector, haze machine, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2007 Anthony McCall, Photograph Henry Graber.

Anthony McCall Resumes a Light Installation Practice after 20-year Hiatus

Anthony McCall, Line Describing a Cone, 1973, Installation view at the Musée de Rochechouart, 2007, Solid light installation, 30 minutes, 16 mm film projector, haze machine, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2007 Anthony McCall, Photograph Freddy Le Saux.

Anthony McCall, You and I, Horizontal, 2005, Installation view at Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, 2006, Solid light installation, 50-minute cycle in six parts, Computer, digital file, video projector, haze machine, Dimensions variable Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2007 Anthony McCall, Photograph Blaise Adilon.

 

Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
+ 020 7402 6075
London
Anthony McCall
November 30, 2007-February 3, 2008

In British artist Anthony McCall's (born 1946) h practice film, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance overlap. McCall was a key figure in avant-garde London's Filmmakers Co-operative in the 1970s. His earliest films document outdoor performances otable for their minimal use of the elements, most notably fire.

After moving to New York in 1973, McCall continued his fire performances and developed his ‘solid light’ film series, conceiving the now-legendary Line Describing a Cone, in 1973. These works are simple projections that strikingly emphasise the sculptural qualities of a beam of light. In darkened, haze-filled rooms, the projections create an illusion of three-dimensional shapes, ellipses, waves and flat planes that gradually expand, contract or sweep through space. In these works, the artist sought to deconstruct cinema by reducing film to its principle components of time and light and removing the screen entirely as the prescribed surface for projection. The works also shift the relationship of the audience to film, as viewers become participants, their bodies intersecting and modifying the transitory forms.

At the end of the 1970s, McCall withdrew from making art. Over 20 years later, he acquired a new dynamic and re-opened his ‘solid light’ series, this time using digital projectors rather than 16mm film. Through his involvement in expanding the notion of cinema, which enabled a more complex experience of projection, McCall has become a hero to a younger generation of artists working with film and installation.

A renewed interest in his work has resulted in many screenings of his individual projections at museums and galleries internationally, as well as inclusion in major group exhibitions, such as Into the Light: the Projected Image in American Art, 1964-77, Whitney Museum, New York, 2001-02; X-Screen: The Expanded Screen: Actions and Installations of the Sixties and Seventies, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, 2003-4; Expanded Cinema: Film as Spectacle, Event, Performance, Hartware Medien Kunstverein, Dortmund, 2004; Eyes, Lies and Illusions, Hayward Gallery, London, 2004; The Expanded Eye, Kunsthaus Zürich, 2006, and Projections: Beyond Cinematic Space, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2006-07.

The Serpentine exhibition offers an overview of the early and more recent works of this seminal practitioner. The exhibition features previously unseen drawings, studies, scores, photographs and documents, mosttly from the artist’s archive, that offer an insight into his working practice.

Anthony McCall, Turning Under, 2004 (foreground), and Doubling Back, 2003 (background), Installation view at the Musée de Rochechouart, 2007, Solid light installations, Turning Under 30-minute cycle. Doubling Back 30-minute cycle in two parts, Computers, digital files, video projectors, haze machines, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2007 Anthony McCall, Photograph Freddy Le Saux.

Anthony McCall, Long Film for Four Projectors, 1974, Installation view, Solid light installation in five-and-a-half-hour cycles, Four 16 mm film projectors, two haze machines, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © 2007 Anthony McCall, Photograph Henry Graber.