Alona Rodeh. Architecture of the Nights
Light, movement, and sound: In her room-spanning, performative art installations the artist Alona Rodeh (1979 in Tel Aviv, Israel) translates the nocturnal design of our cities into aesthetic spaces of experience. With Architecture of the Nights the Kunstpalais hosts Rodeh’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany. Based on the term ‘Architecture of the Night’, coined by US-architect Raymond Hood in 1930, Rodeh develops her artistic approach to urban illumination. This approach is based both on the careful examination of technical components as well as in-depth cultural-historic research on the use of artificial light.
Rodeh’s art as a whole is fuelled by her particular interest in the qualities of materials and objects that shape our visual environment—sometimes subtle and almost hidden, sometimes glaring and calling for attention. Often those are items in which aspects of security and visibility overlap. Fluorescent colors and reflective gear play a central role in her works. Her latest work are LED-elements, programmed for subtle choreographies by the artist, that take center stage as the new protagonists in her “performances without performers”. As a result, installations emerge, monolithic and filigree at once, that lead a luminescent life of their own, filling the Kunstpalais’ dark vaults with their enigmatic presence.
In the early 20th century, the Bauhaus teacher László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) dreamed of mechanical apparatuses that, via a multitude of flash and color effects, could compose large-scale light structures in midair. His aim to move art forward into the third dimension reified in works like the Light-Space-Modulator from 1930—the same year Raymond Hood developed his thoughts about light architecture. Alona Rodeh draws from this rich legacy and transfers it into contemporary circumstances.
A comprehensive exhibition catalog accompanying the solo show takes up the theoretical threads of her project and simulatneously documents the artist’s new works. Safe and Sound: The Third Dimension will be the third in Rodeh’s ongoing series of artist publications. Additionally, two scientific guest contributions shed light on the issue of the use of light and sound systems in nightclubs, as well as the mental consequences of blackouts in the war years.
Image: Alona Rodeh, Smooth Operator, 2018, MDF, plywood, LED lights, speakers, 373 × 212 × 50 cm, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Courtesy the artist and Christine König Galerie, Vienna, Photo: Ludger Paffrath