Anthony McCall set up a series of solid light works, for the first time in France, at les Abattoirs in Toulouse. Visitors start from the basement and along their course, they can discover six of his recent creations where the artist stages a dialogue between his horizontal and his vertical works. The American artist, born in England is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery.
Inspired by Structuralist filmmakers, Anthony McCall began his career in London where he developed his earliest works to go against the grain of narrative cinematic conventions. When he moved to New York, he launched his best known series of works “solid light film” titled “Line Describing a Cone” (1973), in which the volumetric form composed of projected light slowly evolves in three-dimensional space. After a twenty-year hiatus in the 1980s and ’90s, he returned to these light works in the 2000s. First used to record his own actions and ephemeral installations film consecutively became the subject itself.
McCall’s movie focuses on the essential elements of cinema – light, length – but with a totally reversed angle: it is no longer on screen but in space. It develops in a smoky area between projector and screen, in the viewer’s space. From this revolutionary turning point, the artist led a series of work for multiple or individual projectors, a universe of light in which conceptual rigor was only matched by the sense of marvel they created. When McCall projected simple animated sequences of lines and ellipses, the effect of dust particles caught in the pyramidal light beam transformed the two-dimensional lines into three-dimensional, shifting, gossamer planes and curves.