Politics of Light, Jan Tichy’s first solo exhibition in NYC, is a moody paean to light and shadow, to the ebbs and flows of what light reveals and what darkness hides. Tichy’s installations are a fluid integration of diverse media incorporating animation, film, photography, and sculpture, all invested with the presence of mechanical light—be it a projector or a TV monitor—fulfilling light’s role of enabling vision.
Revelation through the metaphor of light reaches back to the very dawn of art. But the title, Politics of Light, selected by the artist, refers less to the divine, than to the power inherent in the political or social machinery that causes any challenge to that power—from political dissidents to the urban poor—to be removed or hidden from view. The work also questions our individual tendencies to look away from inconvenient realities.
Politics of Light is the first exhibition in a new program called NLE Presents. Unlike NLE’s tradition model of group exhibitions whose themes emerge from extensive site and community based research, NLE Presents will mainly focus on solo exhibitions that allow a greater investigation into an artist’s work. With his emphasis on site-specific installations and his investigations into spatial justice and how the built environment has deep ideological implications for social structure, Jan’s work was chosen as a powerful way to launch this series.
This exhibition also marks a collaboration between No Longer Empty and Richard Grey Gallery which adds important context to Tichy’s work by placing it directly within the public sphere—a physical extension of its inherent social concerns.
By Naomi Hersson-Ringskog