04/02/2015: PHaradise light installation at Kunsthalle Mannheim Billingbau is on.
For the dome of the Hermann Billing Building, NatHalie Braun Barends has come up with a lighting concept that engages in a comprehensive dialogue with James Turrell’s light installation “Four Eyes” on the new building and with the new “sculpture park”. The light installation on the old building, referred to as “PHaradies”, “breathes” in the hours of evening to different rhythms and radiates cold white light to the outside and warm light to the hall.
In technical terms, the installation consists of illuminants installed in the old building’s skylights and controlled by a computer program so that they initially fill the dome with a bright light which then pours into the two side wings of the old building. Because of the way the light moves from above sideways and downwards, the viewer perceives this as the architecture “breathing”, or “pulsating”. Thus, in symbolic terms, the museum, whose interior houses a collection with outstanding works from the 19th and 20th centuries, makes its cultural energy felt symbolically on its outside, too. The works and the collection form the same kind of unity as is the case with the multimedia and multi-dimensional light installation “HHole (for Mannheim)“ in its function as the “memory that is a museum”.
From this location, “PHaradise“, produced by Barends subsequent to the “HHole” project’s Phönix Raum (phoenix room) (www.hhole.net), and positioned in the museum building's roof area, offers a special light experience, envisaging the imaginary space between Heaven and Earth as a kind of symbolic link and allowing viewers to experience it. This interpretation was also taken into account, to a certain extent, by the architect of the Kunsthalle annex Hermann Billing. Visitors to Kunsthalle or any passers-by can also view this brightly-lit roof installation from various locations around the Kunsthalle buildings or from a greater distance and experience the evening museum as a clearly defined architectural structure in spatial terms. Finally, the telecommunications tower affords yet another special aspect of Kunsthalle in terms of perceptional aesthetics, since, from this perspective, the architecture can be perceived as a sculptural entity stretching out before us. Indeed, here, the architecture has become a sculpture in the public domain.
Photos by Thomas Henne
100 Jahre Kunsthalle Buch (PDF)
Pressemitteilung Kunsthalle (PDF)
Kunsthalle Pressemitteilung LigHt (PDF)
Stadt Mannheim Presseinformation PHaradise (PDF)
Kunsthalle Press Release PHaradise (PDF)