Josiah McElheny – The Past Was A Mirage I’d Left Far Behind

Josiah McElheny, whitechapel gallery, light installation, contemporary art london,
Josiah McElheny entitled his exhibition, which is currently hosted at the Whitechapel Gallery in London as a part of the Bloomberg Commission, The Past Was A Mirage I’d Left Far Behind.
The artist graduated at Yale and he is specialised in sculpture, even if in this case it would be easier to call his artwork a “multi-facet installation”.

By using seven large –scale mirrored sculptures arranged as multiple reflective screens, upon which the artist project a selected programme of abstract films, Josiah McElheny aims to create an inspiring connection between the different layers. The fragmented impression given by the installation is a symbol for human diversities, a cocktail of ideas in a never ending movement.

The abstract films are projected on the walls of the gallery, through mirrors in which the viewer will often see himself walking across the same space, and being a fundamental part of the kaleidoscopic artwork.
As McElheny stated: “If the reflective can be described as a medium, it is one in which the viewer becomes the author, because without the viewer it is impossible to discern the something, or even the nothing, that is there.”

By plunging the viewer into a light-filled energetic zone of geometric forms, biomorphic shapes and radiant bright colours, McElheny wants to bring a new dimension in the future, leaving the past far behind.

As the artist reports: “I think that I’m interested in abstraction because it’s about a physical system, or a language, that in theory allows one to imagine a new world… but also it’s very important, and art has often thought
about this – imagining a new future… a future in which you erase the past and begin again – that is
some of the origin of abstraction itself.”


Edited by Matilde Casaglia
Artworks by Josiah McElheny

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