El Hotel Pacha, 2015
Light is the artist's sole medium of expression. He must mold it by optical means, almost as a sculptor models clay. He must add colour and, finally, motion to his creation. Motion, the time dimension, demands that he must be a choreographer in space.
Thomas Wilfred (1889 - 1968)
The term Nourathar was first coined by Mary-Elizabeth Hallock-Greenewalt (1871-1951), adapted from the Arabic words for "light" (nour) and "essence of" (athar). She used it to describe the visual music created by her; The Fine Art of Light-Color Playing
These recent Light Sculptures by Nourathar AV, illustrate how light can be used as material and subject, as well as a medium. The modulation of light is at the core of the dialogue we establish within the works, based on the electromagnetic principles of refraction, diffraction and reflection.
These works honor many early inventors, magicians and light-art pioneers from the turn of the 20th Century, who used optical illusions to tease and test the perception of the viewer, highlighting the subjective nature of vision. Among them are Mary Hallock Greenewalt, Thomas Wilfred, The Lumière brothers, Viking Eggeling, Hans Richter or the Dadaists.
As an example, the holographic mini-theatres on view are a contemporary adaptation of a magic trick popularized in 1862 by John Henry Pepper and Henry Dircks, which they used to create the illusion of ghosts appearing on theatre stages.
Nourathar's work explores the ability of light to expand into space, beyond the limitations of screens and flat surfaces. Moreover its use as a channel to transmit images, we use light to design and build scenographies which combine physical and ephemeral media. Our aim is to highlight the space between the projector and the surface, drawing the audience's attention to the visibility of light in transit, instead of focusing on the moment when it meets the support.
Our members' background in augmented reality, HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and open-source initiatives nurtures our intention to dissolve the boundaries between artwork and audience, giving equal status to the image and the technology used to create it, the act of observing and the thing observed.