GLOW 2012, Eindhoven

GLOW indoor sml

GLOW 2012

10 – 17th November, 2012.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

GLOW – Forum of light & architecture

From November 10th to 17th, 2012, the city center of Eindhoven once again turns into a forum of interventions, installations, interactions, performances and events based on the phenomena of artificial light. Last year, the GLOW festival attracted over 360,000 visitors. Challenged by the theme “Delusion & Reality”, over twenty light-artists crossed the boundaries of art and science and showed the diversity and power of light in a dark environment.

Artist: Michel Suk en Bart van Dongen
Work: Schoonheid van stagnatie
Photographer: C. Langer

The theme for GLOW this year, Façades & Faces: Portraits of the City, brings together an array of artists who will share their visions on this topic within the city of Eindhoven.
Eindhoven appears to be a modern, business and post-industrial environment with many different façades and faces. The wide variety of building fronts, architectural styles and – sometimes empty – locations on festival’s tour will once again provide a wealth of creative opportunities for the participating artists. From traditional early 20th century brick building styles, with their white embellishing surface accents, to post-war utilitarian glass exteriors lacking any ornamentation, as well as more recent Postmodernist architecture styles, all reveal or hide what is happening behind their front walls. Within this context it is useful to consider the question of whether or not Eindhoven has its ‘own’ cultural history, which can be explored through examining the local architectural styles. How can this culture be ‘read’ and experienced? Could the meaning of a façade be distorted or even enhanced? Could beauty be seen through ugliness or vice versa? These are interesting questions to ask of artists who have an eye for the sometimes literally and sometimes metaphorically, ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural aspects of the urban environment. Artists have the ability to stimulate the imagination and the knowledge to invite the public to experience the essence of illusion and reality. At first glance the layout of the streets of Eindhoven is not unique but, through the eyes of the artist who attempts to make the beautiful and ugly ‘light up’ during GLOW, this local structure becomes more special. Not only the pure aesthetic, but also specific perception is important.

The light artists create the image of the world they envisage within the city. They tell their own stories as a contribution to the larger whole. Some will sculpt with light and space and play with typical sculptural elements such as mass versus weightlessness, motion versus stationary, object versus space and flexibility versus rigidity. Others will opt for monumental projections, in which the image is not lost, despite the ephemeral, intangible and sometimes painterly nature of their projections. Exploring the boundaries of these visual fields, the borders of sculpture and painting, along with the more philosophical notion of existence that shapes the identity of Eindhoven, can be [re]discovered, illustrated and experienced.

Artist: Xavier de Richemont
Work: Opening of the Van Abbe Museum

An artist working with light stresses the different aspects of the illusion of images, for example, by shifting emphasis from image to background, or through the use of double exposure. Walking through the streets, the viewer experiences the constantly changing images on display, also influenced by the play of light upon the utilitarian structures that forms the background of the installations. Façades of buildings transform into the faces of Eindhoven.

We are conditioned to accept illusion. If one tries to understand art and illusion, one must reflect precisely upon this conditioning. Façades and faces plays with this reflective process. It asks the viewer to abandon rational, structured reality and to enter into a different level of perception. From this new point of view, the presence of light combines the sensations of colour, image and space, and they become more real than any literal representation can achieve.
Illusionism at its ultimate best.

Photographer: Julie Allen

Photographer: Julie Allen

07 Oct