January 6 – January 30, 2010
Featuring Marc F. Wiegand
In the beginning, I asked, “How can I paint in a way that represents light?” Years later, I asked, “How can I paint with light itself?”
Over time, I realized we do not ‘see’ a painting, but rather nothing more than wavelengths of light reflected from the canvas. But, that ‘nothing more’, a neuro-optical event at the back of the eye, is everything. For there, in the instant when immaterial photons strike the optic nerve, is the beginning of memory. So, the primacy of image gave way to its essential medium – not paint or canvas – but light itself, and the experience of light.
These ‘light boxes’ are the improbable and inadequate – yet to me, surprising – solution to my questions. Through them, I learned to ‘paint’ by combining wavelengths, instead of pigment, to make colors that have no name – because, unlike paint, they are neither stable nor have an ‘edge’. This new, translucent color was made of continuous evolutions of hue resolving into one another so imperceptibly that their margins were indistinguishable.
And the color-structure changes as you move – making precisely what you ‘see’ extremely difficult to remember. Thus, memory, came into play, and posed a new question: Which has preference: the primal and momentary nature of perception, as something that is ‘real’, or the lingering, dream-like nature of memory that is not?
It may be that the resulting work denies the intellectual, the cool and rational character of perception, and all of its categorizing impetus, in favor of that warm realm – the emotional, the irrational quality of experience, and the storehouse of experience – the dreamy world of memory, the essence of existence with which we are only ever partially acquainted.
Marc F. Wiegand, 2009