In Light Richmond 2012
Since 2008, InLight Richmond has moved through the city, illuminating and enlivening a different neighborhood each year. For its fifth iteration, this one-night exhibition of light-based art returns to the home district of 1708 Gallery, transforming downtown Broad Street into an extended urban Kunsthalle. On November 2, 2012, visitors to the area's storefronts, alleyways, and vacant lots will discover works by twenty-one artists and artist groups that feature light as material and subject.
Light is perhaps the ideal medium for art that occupies public space and aspires to engage a wide audience. Intangible and radiant, light activates its surroundings, breaking down the division between art object and viewer. Accordingly, many of the works in InLight Richmond encourage social interaction, incorporating the spontaneous participation of the audience. Others combine light with sound—an element which, like light, radiates through space, beckoning and engaging the spectator. A number of works in InLight Richmond address specific sites along Broad Street, using means that range from specialized projection systems to everyday materials such as tape, plastic buckets, and Christmas lights. Film and photography—media dependent on the action of light—form another focus of the exhibition. Several of these works explore the psychological or emotional associations of light, suggesting the photographic image as a metaphor for human memory.
1708 Gallery established InLight Richmond five years ago as an offering to the city, an extraordinary opportunity for the public to experience contemporary art outside of gallery walls. This edition, I hope, fulfills that promise, acting to stimulate the senses and expand our perceptions.
-Melissa Ho, Assistant Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden