No, you don’t shoot things. You capture them. Photography means painting with light. And that’s what you do. You paint a picture only by adding light to the things you see.
Light festivals express exactly the idea of a live act of painting with light – of playing with perception, of reshaping the concrete reality into digital ephemeral stories. The setting has also great importance and, for this reason, Llum BCN, the light festival of Barcelona, is one of the most originals of all Europe. Llum means light, in Catalan, and in February there’s a huge celebration of one of the city’s saint patron, Santa Eulalia (nicknamed la Laia) celebration that evolved, from a series of festivities dedicated to children, to a display of outstanding shows, including parades, human towers or buildings (falcons, a very specific Catalan thing that you need to see while being there) and, also, coincided with the light installations and video-mappings of Llum BCN. As in any light festival, there were several routes to see the artworks and the places chosen, all outdoors, all open to public, were impressive as well, most of them nearby Barri Gòtic, like Plaça de Sant Jaume, Plaça del Rei or various museums from Born.
Museu Frederic Marès has got a nice, big, shady inner courtyard that houses, in summer, a pleasant cafe, Cafè d’estiu, a place to take everything with calm (that’s their own line).The courtyard is filled with trees and is completely surrounded by the old building. And here, in the exact middle of the space, occupying the space of the fountain, a big hexagon, with kinetic spotlights inside, spread dots all around the walls, the trees, the floor, the people… Dins l’univers, by IED Barcelona.
Axioma is an intricate 3D video-mapping depicting the idea of an abstract travel through dimensions that starts from 0, or the point, then goes to 1, or the line, to 2, or the two-dimensional plane, to 3, or the 3D space… It was created by Onionlab studio and projected, on every evening of Llum BCN, on one of the facades of the Gothic square of Plaça del Rei.
In the patio of a Gothic palace (MUHBA Plaça del Rei) the students of the University Center of Design and Art of Barcelona (EINA) installed a series of ventilators and LED lights that gave a strange feeling, especially due to the sound, hence the name of the artwork, Incomoditat sensorial.
Metre i mig
Inside one of the patios of the famous Museu Picasso, there was a very dense fog: Metre i mig (a metre and half) where the color changed in all the shades of the RGB light. The installation was created by Jaume Pla Liñan, Sergi Marzo Montoro and Xavier Bardina.
Fog art installations are something quite rare to see. Definitely, this material is more difficult to mould and maybe that’s why only a few artists in the world work with it – among whom Fujiko Nakaya, the first to have worked with fog as a sculptural medium. The approach of this Japanes artist implies a subtle collaboration of water, atmosphere, air currents and time itself. Experiential and ephemeral in nature, her fog sculptures have certain affinities with Conceptual and Land art, but nevertheless represent a radical departure in the history of art and technology. One of her fogs is part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.