Carsten Nicolai – Observatory

Very few artists manage to translate scientific phenomena into stunning images as elegantly as Carsten Nicolai. If you’re in London, don’t you dare miss Observatory at Ibid Projects.

The works on show visualise diverse physical occurrences. From the ground floor to the top floor, the installations, videos and photographic pieces investigate phenomena that get further and further away from our daily experience.

0IBthermic08b-300.jpgCarsten Nicolai, thermic, 2011

The installation on the ground floor, Thermic, screens the usually invisible heat waves floating through space. Hot air produced from a streaming heat source made visible by a spotlight rendering shadows of it onto the wall. Like a mirage, we can see fluctuations of air thus realizing that we are not surrounded by empty space but by physical, flexible matter.

0Carsten-futurepast-10.jpgFuture past perfect pt. 04 (stratus), 2013

wolken w1, 2013

One floor up, the video future past perfect pt. 04 (wolken) shows clouds that appear almost as an optical illusion – the camera zooms in while different shots of clouds are interspersed together. Accompanying prints from the wolken series show clouds that reveal resemblances to both micro and macro structures.

0i1parrticlenoi1.jpgParticle noise, 2013

0a1geiger6.jpgParticle noise, 2013 (detail)

0IBID-traces-300.jpgTraces t14, 2007

In particle noise on the top floor of the gallery, radioactive particles and magnetic noise are captured in sound, with Geiger counters being the source for a sound installation. The
traces series of photographs, exhibited alongside this installation, document the numerous traces of cosmic and terrestrial radiation, which ionize the gaseous ethanol steam inside a cloud chamber.

0IBID-wismutDUST0.jpgWismut (dust) w8, 2013

Carsten Nicolai – Observatory is at Ibid Projects until 20 April 2013.