Thursday, August 20, 2015

Studio Drift's 'Shylight', in the Rijksmuseum:

Hanging in a void of a stairwell in the Rijksmuseum, is an installation by Studio Drift–their 2014 'Shylight. It's named for the innocuous character that comprises the ensemble–layers of shaggy silk lend each light a gentle touch. Mechanized; they float as they fling themselves from the ceiling, releasing themselves to the forces of gravity. They cascade toward the stairs below. Juxtaposed against classicized, eighteenth century emanating ornament–of chubby-cherubs, fabulous festoons, and bountiful beribboning–each 'light' within the piece mimics slowed-down movements of jellyfish, wading out at sea; each bobs and ebbs, as if under a tidal influence, in synchronized unison. Or, so it seems. Its creators intentions were that each light recall the defenses of quick flowers that retreat within themselves for self protection–thus setting up a bifurcated viewpoint: is each light a jellyfish, or flower? Or neither? The installation is unexpected in the Rijksmuseum–with its focus on seventeenth century paintings. Acquired by the museum; it's on permanent, delightful display.