Podtours

January 10, 2008

Space and light

Filed under: architecture, art, Austria — podtourz @ 3:21 pm

I’ve just been researching as I write up the Podtour for Salzburg, Austria.

The bonus track (ie, I will be putting it up free on the podtours site)  is an introduction to James Turrell’s ‘Sky space’ on the Moenchsberg, near the modern art museum. It’s a powerful piece, which has to be experienced, not just looked at. An apparently simple – though actually quite subtly created – circular space with an opening in the roof, it attracts your attention to the sky seen through that opening. White walls, blue sky; after a while you’ve entered a meditative state. For me, it’s Mozart’s ‘Temple of the Wise’ from the Magic Flute – the real Mozart, not the eine-Kleine-not-that-again-Musik-marzipan-Mozart every shop in town is trying to sell.

So I was glad to find an interview with the artist available on the web.  His Quaker spirituality, but also an interest in astronomy and powered flight, infuses a lot of his art. It’s an interesting interview but I particularly like his assertion: “There is a truth in light.”

What I particularly love about his work is that he tries to get us to approach and experience light directly – for itself. None of the cleverness of Bernini, who wants to make light play tricks for him. Just pure, undiluted light. A real joy.

And something I wish, on this very grey December day, I had got here…

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