CFL – Coded Fluorescent Lightis a video triptych where the random flickering of a failing light bulb in a Varanasi garage is dragooned into sync with various visual and aural codes to deliver a fast-paced recital from the Rigveda, the sacred book of Hinduism.
Location: Building 10a / Nolan Park / Governors Island
Open to the Public: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Mondays 11 am – 5 pm from June 1 thru August 11, 2019
MAY Surya guard us out of heaven, and Vata from the firmament, and Agni from terrestrial spots.
THOU Savitar whose flame deserves hundred libations, be thou pleased: from failing lightning keep us safe.
MAY Savitar the God, and may Parvata also give us sight; may the Creator give us sight.
GIVE sight unto our eye, give thou our bodies sight that they may see: may we survey, discern this world.
THUS, Surya, may we look on thee,on thee most lovely to behold, see clearly with the eyes of me.
Alexander Hahn (b. 1954, Rapperswil, Switzerland) has worked at the forefront of the electronic and digital media arts in Europe and America since the mid 1970s, integrating the time-based forms of video with practices of computer imagery and print, animation, virtual reality, installation, and writing. A graduate of the Zurich University of Arts with a degree in art education (1979), he participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York (1981). He lives and works in Zürich and New York.
The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Hahn’s work has been exhibited in many solo exhibitions and group exhibitions and film festivals from New York to Zurich, Sydney to Berlin, Beijing to New Delhi. He’s had major retrospectives at the Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Switzerland, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria, and the Padiglione d’Arte Moderna, Ferrara, Italy.
In addition to reviews in ZKM Mediagramm, Art Papers, Radio WBAI, NY, Huffington Post, Il Manifesto, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Berliner Zeitung, Kunstbulletin and others, various monographs have been published, most notably Alexander Hahn – Works 1976-2007, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg/DE (2007) and Astral Memories of a Flying Man, Musée Jenisch, Vevey/CH (2002). There are two documentaries about his work: 3 Approaches by Matthias Behrens (1994) and Words of Artists/Portraits of Artists by Catherine Gfeller (2012).
“Hahn’s method of engaging with the very small, the fleeting, and the momentary, is part of an intimate, deeply personal and reflexive practice that offers a way to reproach the world through this change of scale – a world in miniature – and to reflect on this strangeness, vastness and beauty of what is found within the context of a changing anthropogenic worldview … His work draws from history, art, architecture, science and the labyrinths of western knowledge – its machines of sight and thought – and shuttles uneasily between a past and a future time. In his works the contemporary world – mental, physical, psychic, social, and geographical – appears to exist eerily between archaeology and mind map …”
Cathie Payne, in Miniature and Series: The Re-invention of the Epistolary Form in the Work of Alexander Hahn in Digital Media and Documentary – Antipodean Approaches (Springer, 2018)
“It is this luminous realm of dream that Hahn’s great art of light and shadow rediscovers, using video like those infinite eyes which night has opened in us (Novalis) … The terrains explored by Hahn are not those of the terrestrial globe anymore, but rather those of the ocular globe, the inward looking hemisphere of the eye.”
Dominique Radrizzani, in Astral Memories of a Flying Man, 2002, Musée Jenisch, Vevey
CFL was shot in India during a ProHelvetia artist residency. The Lottery Endowment Fund of the Canton St. Gallen contributed to the production