The Dark Arts

I don’t often talk about my personal projects in great detail, but I felt the urge to share a bit about my latest photo project to help myself work through the underlying concepts. The basic premise behind this new project is to photograph an interior space in a new way. In this instance I’ve decided to photograph the interior gallery spaces of a major art museum at night when the main gallery lights have been turned off. There are emergency/night lights always on , but there point is not to illuminate the art in the galleries, but to provide illumination for security staff and navigation around the galleries without using a lot of electricity.

What I find interesting about these gallery spaces at night, is the random nature of the night lights and how de-emphasized the important pieces of artwork are. I also like how certain pieces of art get highlighted by the night lights, but encapsulated by a velvety blackness around them. I also enjoy the play of light and shadow between the doorways and open spaces, around pedestals and reflected off the wood floors.

For me, the Art takes on an emotional personification as the paintings and sculptures stand as lonely sentries in the dark. I suppose its easy to personify the art works when most have figural elements to them like portraits, or suits of armor and sculptures of people, but during the day when people are walking around them they don’t seem to have as much psychic power as they do at night. This is probably because  the “dark” still represents the mysterious and unknown in our lives. We tend to attribute “things” happening in the night, the mysterious has more potential to become real when we cant see it, or something isn’t quite clear.

I’m not entirely sure where this project is going, and I’m not sure anyone else will really appreciate the dark museum spaces the way I do.'09 DarkArts-6

 

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