Lina Selander is one of Sweden’s most acclaimed artists in the field of moving images. Her major public commission, Mehr Licht!, by the Public Art Agency Sweden, appears on the façade of the new synchrotron light laboratory MAX IV at Lund University. One thousand six hundred LEDs are flashing Selander’s work, chapter by chapter, from sunset to sunrise.
A both abstract and figurative narrative of the early days of film is built up through episodes from the history of light, perception and the moving image. Clips from classic films such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Eadweard Muybridge’s photo series and many more are mixed with various light phenomena such as lightning, fireworks and bioluminescent sea creatures.
Lina Selander’s more than nine-hour-long work appears on a surface measuring 15 metres high and 9 metres wide. The theme and bright design of Mehr Licht! are directly related to the activities taking place in the new MAX IV complex. The laboratory houses the world’s most powerful source of synchrotron light, which is used to investigate the structure, properties and functions of molecules and materials.
Lina Selander on her project Mehr Licht!:
“I definitely wanted to use the façade of the building so that the work would be accessible for everyone. Right from the beginning I wanted to create a landmark piece, something monumental. I thought—and think—especially of all the people who pass by daily in their cars on the road outside. Here is a possibility for everyone to see, or experience, their own story as they drive by. As the work consists of chapters in non-chronological order and that certain scenes are repeated, I imagine that the story will unfold over time, for each individual.”
“I am interested in the visual gap between high tech and the analogue, which we can see in Mehr Licht! The LED lights are recessed in mouldings on the façade and, of course, the surface has a super finish, while the images that appear are low resolution and at times abstract, reminiscent of early video art. This creates a dissonance, a sort of poetry and quirkiness that I like.”
Lina Selander has borrowed the title for her work from a quotation attributed to the scientist and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who, on his deathbed in 1832, is supposed to have said, “Mehr Licht!” (More light!), or, he could just as easily have said, “Mehr Nicht!” (No more!).
Commissioner/property owner: Fastighets AB ML4
Curator, Public Art Agency Sweden: Peter Hagdahl
Documentation: Ricard Estay
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