Her Holographic Majesty

If you find yourself in the Brick Lane area of London some time before March 23, light artist Chris Levine’s spectacular Stolenspace show is well worth a visit. Her Maj has never looked funkier.

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If you find yourself in the Brick Lane area of London some time before March 23, light artist Chris Levine’s spectacular Stolenspace show is well worth a visit. Her Maj has never looked funkier.

CR has covered the work of light artist Chris Levine on several occasions – both in the magazine and on our blog (including this profile piece). His collaborations with Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones have led to memorable images but it is perhaps a solo project for which Levine is best known.

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In 2003 he was commissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust to mark 800 years of the Islands’ allegiance to the crown. Levine’s response was Equanimity, a holographic portrait of the Queen. Using equipment designed by the leading holographer Rob Munday, the original holo­graphic stereogram portrait was constructed from a sequence of still photographs taken from a variety of different angles.

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Above, a print showing the hundreds of images of the Queen used to make up Levine’s holographic portrait

Apparently, HMQ enjoyed the process and Levine was granted another session during which he captured hundreds more images. The results of both these shoots can now be seen at Lightness of Being. Print simply doesn’t do justice to these images. Mounted in large lightboxes, the holographic works are truly hypnotic. There’s a hint of the old “winky-dink” postcard about the concept but, in the flesh, they are incredibly rich and beautiful.

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The gallery has taken on 13,000 square feet of extra space specif­ically for the exhibition in order to accommodate not just the pictures of HMQ but also Levine’s light installations. The gallery is filled with a sort of dry ice-effect haze through which several hundred lasers beam quite unnervingly. There are also a series of light diffusers and works using LEDs to project images into visitors’ peripheral vision. Levine refers to these works as creating ‘visual echoes’ and hopes the show will “question the very mode of seeing – and the lightness of being”.

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Next up for Levine, he has been commissioned to create a light installation to mark the opening of a new Museum of Art and Design in New York in September.

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