- Emptying the Museum by Luz Interruptus
We often blog about museums on Livegreenblog, gorgeous containers that are in many cases more famous for their architecture than for the art they showcase, as we saw a while ago in the Guggenheim, Bilbao (link).
Emptying the Museum, the artwork by Luz Interruptus instead explores the content of the museums, a huge body of exhibition pieces that are both difficult to show and even to store. The installation concept was actually designed eight years ago for a project in the main courtyard of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but in the end it never saw the light of day because the London institution didn't think it was very flattering, showcasing, albeit artistically, the need to make room inside the museum in order to meet the demands and interests of its visitors.
Instead, the directors of the Drachten Museum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands decided that the proposal by Luz Interruptus wasn't just a provocation, it was very interesting in itself, and they decided to have the installation completed as part of the initiatives connected to the European Capital of Culture 2018. The museum collection gives visitors an interesting overview of the visual arts in the early 20th century, focusing in particular on works completed between the two world wars, in the period often referred to as Interbellum. The core collection concentrates on the brothers Thijs and Evert Rinsema, who were introduced to the international avant-garde in the early 1900s and brought to Drachten representatives of De Stijl and of the Dada movement. This in itself could already explain the museum's willingness to host Emptying the Museum.
This installation was clearly on a smaller scale than the original project, as the Drachten Museum (Dr8888) itself is not large but it had the same very dramatic effect as all the other works by these Spanish artists. Indeed, their projects last well beyond the lapse of time required for the actual crafting on the site, assisted by the eternal present of the web where the colourful emotions of the works by Luz Interruptus live on years after, within reach of everyone.
Emptying the Museum plays with decorative elements and pieces used in real building sites, like the four large metal dumpsters positioned under the museum's four windows, each one filled with material sourced from the actual museum. And the construction chutes commonly used to transfer debris have been recreated using light shades covered in lots of different fabrics to encompass a wide range of decorative motifs. The lampshades were then fitted together, just like the pieces in a construction chute, to form colourful stripes dropping from the windows down into the dumpster. They were illuminated inside - a hallmark of Luz Interruptus - so their real magic was revealed at night as they acted as brightly coloured lanterns.
Again in keeping with all the other artistic creations of this Spanish group, Emptying the Museum is also an intrinsically sustainable work: after the installation was dismantled, the materials were all returned to where they came from and now the museum is using the lampshades in its structures.
Project: Luz Interruptus - http://www.luzinterruptus.com
Location: Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Images: Melisa Hernandez