Seizing the Sun
From Tacita Dean's green ray, to the multiple digital suns collected on Flickr by Penelope Umbrico, to astronomer Jules Janssen's sunspot photographs, Hangar Y's new exhibition offers a luminous and sensitive journey through the works of modern and contemporary artists and scientific and vernacular images.
Our sun is so familiar and everyday that we sometimes forget about it. In fact, it's no longer just its light that punctuates and invades our lives, as some artists point out, but the electric light from lamps and screens. Falsely associated with global warming, the Sun is sometimes unloved and feared. Its heat reminds us of the sublime mystery of its burning consistency. The sun's burns, its blows, its traces and its effects activate artists' imaginations, as do its ambivalences, without which life on Earth would not exist: the sun warms but embitters; it illuminates while dazzling...
The contradiction inherent in this star is reminiscent of François de La Rochefoucauld's famous maxim: "Neither the sun nor death can be stared at". The abstract, vibrant photographs of a whole new generation of photographers, fascinated by the effect of the sun's rays on sensitive surfaces, "draw" with the star, reviving the experiments of the inventors of photography and cinema. A sensitive exploration of the sun through the eyes of artists.
Some artists take a humorous approach to the motif of the sunset, hijacking it as they go, while others gaze in delight at the sublime moment of eternity when the moon "rises" and the sun disappears. Night falls softly, and darkness deepens. Plunged into darkness, the sun is still there, but not exactly here. At the origin of numerous cults, the divine and mystical power of the sun is a rich source of inspiration for artists who question our need for transcendence.