Writer: Anne Swartz
Grimanesa Amorós’ works felt like the stuff of science fiction the first time I encountered them, bursting with light in a nearly dark room. The artist intends for her viewers to have a visceral experience with her art; she’s creating a sublime effect, “an immersive environment” she says, involving the sculptures and the light around them. She wants the viewer to have a complete tangible experience. While the artist layers her installations with numerous references to the physicality of light and to her Peruvian home, they also invoke her reverence for natural events and spaces, like the aurora borealis she had seen in Iceland and tidal flows reminiscent of the oceans and lakes in her native Peru.
In Light Between the Islands, Amorós combines solid bubble forms on the floor in groupings, like islands surrounded by water in the space between them. Here those gaps allow the viewer to ambulate the bubble forms. The bubbles are animated with LEDs, light programming, and video animation partially illuminating the gallery space. Her sculptures are often layered with her drawings, as is the case with this installation, where they have been silkscreened onto the surface of the mounds. Making the connection between the artist’s memories and fantasies of Peru, she’s added MIRANDA, a video work. It is a hybrid film, merging and uniting images of the artist’s face. On her face, she’s rendered Incan sun masks and ancient Incan monuments. She’s also added views of sea foam percolating along the Peruvian coast.