GLOW 2014 - Roland Schimmel - The Innocent Body & The Otolith Group - Sovereign Sisters

Roland Schimmel, The Innocent Body, 2014 (still). Courtesy the artist
The Otholith Group, Sovereign Sisters, 2014, video still. Courtesy and copyright the artists

GLOW 2014 Roland Schimmel - The Innocent Body & The Otolith Group - Sovereign Sisters

08/11/2014 - 15/11/2014

two light art projects

From 8 - 15 November 2014 the Van Abbemuseum is hosting two projects in the context of the Eindhoven light art festival GLOW. Entrance to GLOW is free of charge and the festival starts every evening at 6.30 p.m.
The Innocent Body by the Dutch artist Roland Schimmel will be projected onto the grey façade of the new part of the museum. This projection focuses on the relationship between the eye and the brain and works with after-images and halos; processes which take place outside our consciousness.
The work Sovereign Sisters (2014) by The Otolith Group can be seen in the auditorium of the museum. A monumental bronze sculpture by René de Saint-Marceaux dating from 1907, entitled Autour du Monde (“Around the world”), is transformed into a cloud of illuminated dots of light, divesting it of its material presence. The sculpture – which can be found in the Kleine Schanze Park in Berne, Switzerland – represents the grand ambitions of the then Union Postale Universelle to deliver mail all over the world.  

Roland Schimmel - The Innocent Body (2014)

During GLOW the Van Abbemuseum will offer a foretaste of the The Innocent Body research project. This project is all about seeing. We see with our eyes, but above all, also with our brain. Our brain not only shows us the things which are objectively present in the outside world; it also constantly produces subjective images. Examples of these include after-images and halos, phenomena which spontaneously occur in visual perception. Roland Schimmel’s work reveals the effect of these processes which take place below the threshold of visibility in everyday life. They systematically wrong-foot the viewer.
The Innocent Body sheds light on the differences and similarities between, on the one hand, the intangible character of natural after-images, and on the other hand, the virtual character of the digital images which constantly confront us in our everyday lives. Biology in relation the technology; physical processes in relation to virtual mediation – these are important fields of research in this project. Although there is some manipulation, the experience takes place at a physical level – it is a democratic experience which is the same for everyone, and at the same time extremely personal.

The research project The Innocent Body is an unique cooperative venture between the Van Abbemuseum and an interdisciplinary team of students at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), led by the senior university lecturer, Dr. Kees van Overveld. The project can be seen in a more detailed form in the museum as part of the collection exhibition Once Upon a Time … The Collection Now from 21 December.

The Otolith Group, Sovereign Sisters, 2014.

The Otolith Group was founded in 2002 by the artists Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, who live and work in London. In their work Sovereign Sisters they give the original bronze sculpture a fleeting and very temporary character.
Sovereign Sisters was developed in cooperation with Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen and Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in collaboration with the Artsonje Center. The 3D scans and animation are by ScanLAB Projects.


The theme of the ninth programme of the GLOW art festival of light is “City in movement”. About fifty artists provide a fascinating new view of the city with light installations, sculptures and projections, as well as performances involving light.
The curators of GLOW 2014 are: Har Hollands (Har Hollands Light architect), Diana Franssen (curator of the Van Abbemuseum), Saskia van de Wiel (curator/art historian), Rombout Frieling (GLOW NEXT).