Light Matters in Berlin

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A few weeks back, we reported from Munich about the inspiring group show Light Matters that took place during this year’s annual Jewellery Week. Berlin-based jewellery artist and lighting designer Daria Olejniczak, Alchimia Bachelor graduate, had cooked up an exciting collaboration with the lighting design company ERCO who offered their showroom and state-of-the-art illumination equipment for this showcase of six jewellery artists. The result was widely acclaimed as one of the highlights of the Jewellery Week. Due to its success and positive feedback, Daria and ERCO decided to go for a second round and present the show again but differently in the company’s Berlin showroom.

This time Daria approached the organisers of “48-hours-Neukölln”, an annual art festival in the south-eastern district of Neukölln in Berlin. The festival had announced ‘shadow’ to be this year’s thematic framework, which seemed a perfect fit for this exhibition project. The Berlin art festival was happy to include it in their program, under one condition: that it takes place somewhere in Neukölln. That turned out to be a little tricky, as ERCO’s Berlin showroom is located in the adjacent neighborhood Kreuzberg, about 400 meters away from Neukölln. This posed a big challenge for Daria and her collaborators, as the exhibition concept relies on the symbiosis between the selected art works and the professional lighting infrustructure. The solution that they came up with is as smart as it is bizarre: the event was simply broadcast via video live streaming to a venue in Neukölln called Polymedialer Ponyhof (which literally translates to poly-media pony yard). So technically, there were two events happening at the same time, one analog, physical exhibition in Kreuzberg, and its digital counterpart in Neukölln.

Daria says that the experience in Munich helped her a lot to set the exhibition in Berlin. Also, she explains, the result was even better than in Munich because she and her team managed to apply new and different lights that gave them even more subtle results. They ultimately used decided a greater number of luminaires yet dimmed to a lower output. The created effect was much stronger, as each collection had its own specific light while the remaining space between the individual collections could stay darker. The impression of encountering works as floating in space and creating little islands with each collection turned out to be richly emphasized.

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As such, it also highlighted once more the prime idea behind this collaboration, as expressed in the exhibitions title: LIGHT MATTERS. As the show has proven, light does matter, and not only for the artwork but also for the visitors. When using professional glare-free spots, not only the pieces are properly lit, but also viewers cast no shadows on the exhibits when looking at them closely. The light situation stays stable and viewers can focuse their perception on the pieces of art.

Caption is the same for all images: Photo by Mehdi Bahmed

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