Doug and Mike Starn «Gravity of Light» 2005.
«Light is thought, light has gravity, light is what attracts us. The sun is what we want, who we want to be, who controls us. It is the future and the past. A light too bright to look at, although light itself is invisible. The collection of light is black, and contradictorily, black is the absence of light. Black is both the void and the reservoir of what we need.» ~ D+M Starn.
«The Starn brothers place a sun at the center of their own artistic universe: A looming carbon-arc lamp, sizzling and snapping, some relic of Victorian science, searingly illuminates a room ringed with works exploring the meanings of light and darkness.» ~ Tom Venderbilt.
source: starnstudio.com [Artforum pdf]
«We are slaves to gravity: No matter how much influence we exert to go higher, gravity pulls us down, again and again. Gravity binds us to history, politics, and economics; but it also ties us to the sun, a far more omnipotent force. ...looking up, a black sun is burned into my eyes. Now there's a black hole in front of and through everything I look at. A negative of the sun. The sun is knowledge, fulfillment and satisfaction. Too bright to look at, it is truth, purity. It is the future, the past, it is knowledge held at an unattainable height - eight minutes above us at the speed of light.»
Gravity of Light: Färgfabriken Kunsthalle November 13 - January 10, 2005 traveling exhibition.
The Sun pulls the planets around itself; the back porch light pulls the moth from the darkness. Trees, made from light, grow towards it. The gravity of light is so broad and vast it is not noticed. We exist in it; we exercise our will, but only within its parameter. Light is power, knowledge, it is what you want, it is what you need, it is satisfaction, fulfillment, truth, and purity. It is history, the future, and spirituality. Light is what we fear and hate. Light is what controls every decision and action we take. But the strength of each of their gravitational pulls depends on how much mass we have given to them. We are pulled by all these controls simultaneously, like the oceans held to the Earth, but pulled towards the Moon. Light = Control = Gravity —D+M Starn Gravity of Light presents the compilation of four large bodies of work: the Starns’ semiology of the coincidences and convergences of fact and metaphor of the gravity of light. Central to the exhibition is a blindingly bright arc lamp, mimicking the Sun, with a layered dual-screen transparent video projection exposing the meaning embedded in light. The sun is the aufbau, the structural center of the Starns’ lexicon. The entire exhibition is illuminated by a single carbon arc lamp, based on the first discovery of electric 'artificial' light in 1804 by Humphry Davy with his voltaic arc. Surrounding the arc, as if chapels in a cathedral of light, are huge icons from each of the Starns' four series; all literal manifestations of the control of light found in nature. Each body has a unique presentation as well as complex and interrelated themes and concepts. Metaphorically, light for the Starns is all that motivates and controls everything we do, an extension of the classical metaphor as light as knowledge and information, Enlightenment.