There's still time to visit a magnificent and rousing exhibition at the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan. The power of light is expressed at its full potential by the artist Ceryth Wyn Evans, who presents 'The Illuminating Gas', a show curated by Roberta Tenconi and Vicente Todoli. Twenty-four neon installations reflect, in the hangar's wide space, all the potency and power of light.
However, all the illuminating sculptures equal a further elaboration under the fluorescent key of poems, literature, music composition and every other kind of artistic language. Hence, this project reveals a blending mix of different linguistics pattern in art. The first site-specific work gathers six tall golden columns that get switched on and off in alternation to create a connection among themselves and a suffused and silent harmony within the ambience. The sound is made by the vibration the neon lights produce when they light on and, at the same time, they also regulate the intensity and the coordination of the illumination too. What would be the interpretation? That belongs to our perception of reality and general knowledge. For example, to me, the group of pillars resemble tribal totem that solemnly communicates to each other. The atmosphere in this corner is quietly sacred and give empowerment to the whole context.
The same analysis can be adjusted to the other installations in the show, to which elements of philosophy, astronomy, physics and figurative arts surely belong to. The bright circles and the perfect squiggles and the complex intertwined decorations suggest many solutions. We see a neat representation of circles, ray systems and halos, as for picture two, with a clear reference to the mechanic, geometrical and astronomic world.
Additional depictions remind, at least to me, of Kandinsky's, Pollock's and Picasso's paintings, for the dynamism, the coordination, the rushing and restless brushstrokes, here shaped in the form of illuminating little pipes. Then, connections to the robotics and literature and music – for example, sculptures that are like commas or punctuation and solfège anyway – can be glimpsed around of the exhibition. Moreover, some look like a giant and sinuous signature.
Can you imagine how those neon lights impact on our minds? It's an overwhelming, vibrant, emotional and a fantastic surreal experience to try! The show truly demonstrates how intriguing is creating a new language and an original way of communication through odd media.