Brigitte Kowanz has been exploring space and light in her works since the 1980s. Her conceptual oeuvre is based on abstract, theoretical thought, which she presents with extraordinary sensuality and atmospheric complexity in each spatial installation. The works explore the reciprocal relationship between light, space and codes, and the polar tensions that result from the many ways matter and light interact, which the viewer also plays a part in.
Kowanz’s analysis focuses on light as an agent creating three-dimensional space, as an information carrier, and as a medium for enlightenment and visibility. In this context, Morse code provides a basic structure on which to build her ideas, its binary code enabling the transmission of information through light. Kowanz translates Morse code into a system of visual light signs. Its basic forms of dots and dashes, short and long, are presented circles and rectangles.
Semi-transparent mirrors, mirrors and light are arranged to create virtual spaces in which real space is deconstructed and its limits eliminated. Here, mirrors serve as the meta-medium for visual transmission. They make light visible and at the same time carry an infinite number of images. The viewer’s gaze becomes visible. The space becomes a space of interaction; the focus is on simultaneity, juxtaposition and concurrence.
Real space and virtual mirror images penetrate through one another, blurring the limits between the artwork and the viewer. New spaces are brought forth, interlinked on many different levels, overlapping and yet equally existing in juxtaposition. Limits and spaces change and shift in shape and meaning.
The significance of Kowanz’s new works is also grounded in how they correspond to one another.
The complementary nature of light and shadow provides the basis for breaking the pieces down into their binary components; form and content find harmony in the sequences of bright and darkness.