Today I had the chance to visit Ivana Franke’s project Retreat into Darkness. Towards a Phenomenology of the Unknown curated by Elena Agudio. When I walked into the exhibition at Schering Stiftung I found myself surrounded by utter darkness just broken by three lights located in different corners. The gallery attendant, Wenke, also an art historian, advised me to not go any further, not to look into the lights and instead just to wait for a while. Very slowly and unexpectedly shimmering light strings and moving objects appeared in front of me that were seemingly coming out of nowhere. The longer I waited the more appeared mysteriously in front of my eyes. Wenke explained that the light strings I saw were reflections on the many tiny strings that were mounted onto the objects in the room. I’m fascinated by how effective this project made me aware of the adjustment of my eyes to the darkness and the magic that can be revealed while waiting.

Some more information from the publication: “In addition to her exhibition the artist worked in collaboration with a vision scientist Bilge Sayim on different experiments along with an interdisciplinary symposium and a publication.[….] With her new installation Ivana Franke takes us into a visual and bodily experience able to break our preconceived idea of reality, lending it other dimensions that are decidedly fictive, imaginary, and cosmic. Reflected light appears as if floating on air and emerging constellations of “objects”. [….] Like standing before twinkling fireflies, the viewer is invited to glimpse the “unknown” moving objects revealed in the dark. Creating “epistemological ruptures”, those experiences give us the capacity to imagine and challenge existing common modes of knowledge and to create room for different possible futures.”

Here your find the link to her website: