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May 01, 2006

Light and Architecture - Lumieres Sur La France

Lumieres1 On Saturday we visited a second exhibition in the Center for Mediterranean Architecture, which is housed in Hania's Great Arsenal. "Light and Architecture - Lumieres Sur La France" was a photography exhibition showcasing the use of light on buildings and urban spaces in France over the last decade or so.

The 'blurb' to accompany the exhibition, which was originally displayed in China, asks (approximately, as this is my rough transaltion from the French)

Can you imagine a city, at night, without a single light? No, it is as easy for us to see in the night as it is under the sun's rays

The exhibition consisted of one room, in near darkness. Two sets of moving images were projected onto "screens" made out of thin metal tubes. This allowed the images to seep through, and portions of them to appear all over the walls behind the screens.

Lumieres2 There were then a series of lightboxes containing photographs in a curved line, and two sets of light-boxes making up desks. The photographs were of various architectural structures from around France, all carefully lit and beautifully photgraphed. Along with the predictible and the familiar, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame for example, were the unexpected - a warehouse, a car park, a garden in a provincial town - all spectacularly lit up and then beautifully shot at night. The photographs had such vivid colours, it was a complete contrast to the monochrome Trails of History exhibition we had just visited.

Towards the end of May the exhibition will host a three day conference, entitled "Light and Architecture II", hosted by George Fatseas. I may see what sessions are on and whether I can sneak in.


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