Visual Arts

Le Cabinet des méduses, une exposition de caustiques

— by Caty Olive

14.04 — 21.05.05
Galeria Zé dos Bois

The principle of this installation is the staging of an optical phenomenon: the appearance of caustics.
A caustic, formed by patterns and shapes, is a place of intersections between the reflected or refracted light rays.
Its convergence effects create impacts of concentrated light, of very dense, bright and accentuated quality.

Observe light instability
Starting from the image of a blank page, the project exposes patches of light in motion.
These spots form a series of rectangles of white and mobile light, aligned on wall surfaces and on the ceiling. Each rectangle consists of a two-dimensional projection, a drawn or uncertain boundary, which is deformed to allow the illusion of fleeting volumes to appear on the surface of the wall to appear and then disappear.
In wavy movements, these shapes animate according to their own rhythm, escape and deform at variable speed, leaving their stable state or freezing again.
The visitor is faced with the spectacle of a luminous phenomenon under construction.

Device description
The installation consists of a series of rectangular trays, arranged at floor level, aligned and close to a wall.
Each tray has a mirror that covers the entire area, and in turn, is covered with a quantity of water or other liquid. The purpose of the mirror is to send a beam of light on the wall from a projector fixed to the ceiling.
By reflex, the images (luminous rectangles) are formed on the wall.
The instability of the liquid contained in the trays plays a disturbing element in the images, generating their animation.
Set in motion by various mechanical devices arranged under the trays, the liquid takes on the importance of a mobile filter.
In this way, the beam of light – crossing this weak dynamic thickness – is constantly modified.
This process, projected on the wall, but also on the ceiling and in the surrounding space, results in luminous images animated by a slight vibration, or images that undergo extensive deformations until they completely lose their initial contours.
By osmosis, they may even find themselves fleeing their own limits.

Caty Olive

Cathy Olive has a degree in scenography from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and has developed, within contemporary art, in the area of light installation projects such as: «Portrait by Frans Poelstra» and «Structure multifonctions».
Through different practices, Cathy Olive explores the issues that particularly interest her about light: its brightness and vibration, dividing her light design and conception activities by collaborations in projects by creators from different areas:
– Dance: Marco Berrettini, Christophe Haleb, Martine Pisani, Myriam Gourfink, Emmanuelle Huynh, Claudia Triozzi, Christian Rizzo, in France, and Vera Mantero and Tiago Guedes, in Portugal;
– Architecture and exhibitions: Cartier international, Parc de la Villette, Château de Versailles, Espace Electra, Musée du Cinéma, Midi minuit, Musée de la mode;
Fashion: Cartier, De Beers, Rayon Vert / Hermès.

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