Data / Ora
Date(s) - 25/11/2023 - 10/12/2023
Johannes Rass: The metaphorical language of light.
The permanent installation “Kubus EXPORT, der Transparente Raum” by VALIE EXPORT, which was originally conceived as a permanent work, has, over the years, also become an architecture, a frame for other artists that address contemporary feminist issues (1).
For 16 days, artist Johannes Rass takes the stage within the cube, presenting “LUMEN,” a light installation comprising over 120 meticulously programmed lamps that delves into the theme of femicide (2). Each piece in Rass’s intricate repertoire is anchored in a self-contained idea or a specific question that serves as the impetus for the artistic creation.
The opening day, November 25th, is no coincidence. Every day, from the onset of winter dusk until midnight, LUMEN lights will be in a constant state of flux. There is a clear plot and narrative to the artist’s way of working with light – the lights he creates, their colour, their strength or weakness are there to evoke moods and associations. While every LUMEN episode beckons proximity, this time, a unique twist unfolds: being in front of it becomes an unbearable experience. The intensities of light here serve as metaphors for the stages of these woman’s existence, symbolizing the gradual emergence of life, living, reaching a full bloom and dreams if one can, and then such an abrupt end. Within this shared public space, femicide transcends individual fate, and the lamps cease to be mere tombstones. Instead, they stand as silent educators, urging passers-by to take action. As I finish writing, Giulia and many others are no longer here.
Words by Erka Shalari
(1) Today, the historical space is managed by the Municipal Department for Women of the City of Vienna (MA57).
(2) Describing it as a theme or phenomenon doesn’t quite capture its essence. It’s more like a million times repeated experience that leaves you breathless, shocked, powerless.