Luisa Kasalicky’s exhibition at the Lentos invites visitors to take part in an intriguing game of illusions that will present a challenge to their senses. Being the first light composition the artist has developed for a museum, it is also something of a première.
For this installation, which the artist has designed specifically with the Lentos in mind, she treats the two adjacent exhibition rooms in the museum’s basement as separate entities. In the first room it is the walls that attract the artist’s attention. Using snap lines, a device employed by bricklayers to align brickwork, the artist applies large-scale ornaments that appear to open up the wall. This geometric clarity contrasts with the drama of the light installation in the second room.
Concealed by curtains so as not to disrupt the darkness, windows enable visitors to inspect the other half of the installation. Sharply focused spotlights carve out various details of the objects in the room: illusionist wallpaper; light-reflecting materials; tiles tapering off so as to produce a perspectival illusion; and a number of other constructions made from everyday materials of the sort that we have become familiar with from Kasalicky’s previous work. The spatial totality remains shrouded in darkness. The duration, pattern sequence and rhythm of the light composition focus and guide the gaze of the observer. The artist expressly wants the observer’s eyes to do her bidding.
Luisa Kasalicky’s work gravitates toward that border area where painting, sculpture and architecture overlap. Having trained as a painter and graphic artist, she discovered the third dimension for her work early on and has retained her predilection for it ever since. Her multilayered installations, which regularly use the most diverse materials, colours and objects, test the surrounding space for its dynamism and observers for the sharpness of their perception.