Light and Shadow (chasing the Brocken Spectre)

Light and Shadow (chasing the Brocken Spectre), 2017
RGB lights, motor, projection, live video feed, old TV parts

video and images by Lucy Parakhina

Excerpt from catalogue essay by Helen Hughes:
In Light and Shadow (chasing the Brocken Spectre) 2017, Philippe-Janon creates a sunset or aurora effect by directing a combination of red, green and blue lights at one spot on the gallery wall, which together create white light. Here, the artist has built and installed an automated circular light blocker that cuts off one of the coloured lights at a time, creating a slowly gradating colour spectrum from yellow to orange to pink to red then green and blue. Moreover, when an object—such as the viewer’s body—moves in front of the three-part light, the projection refracts spectacularly, splitting into seven colours—blue, red, green, black, cyan, magenta and yellow, each of which is created by a different combination of the coloured light. The viewer’s shadow is thus cast into a rainbow-like myriad of forms. Located towards the gallery’s entry point, viewers are directed to walk in front of the light projection and cast such shadows in their own image. In addition, there is a live feed of lights and shadows on the gallery wall, which Philippe-Janon has captured through a kaleidoscopic-type lens salvaged from an old rear-projection television. This real-time footage of the light explodes into a psychedelic show of moving colour and pattern, multiplied and distorted. Here our shadows, that most personal index of the body, reinsert us back into the spectacle—obliging us to acknowledge our presence within and our impact on the perceptual environment.”

+Created as part of Shotgun6 – professional development program and exhibition awarded by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Detached Cultural Organisation and Contemporary Art Tasmania. Exhibited in Mock Sun, a solo show at Contemporary Art Tasmania 2017