Press Release

Anthony McCall: Split Second

  • Dates: June 19–November 10, 2024
  • Curator: Manuel Cirauqui
  • Film & Video Gallery (103)

From June 19 to November 10, 2024, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is presenting Anthony McCall: Split Second, an exhibition which marks the tenth anniversary of the Film & Video program and the space specifically set aside for it in the Museum. Since 2014, the Film & Video programming has offered a comprehensive yet highly unique look at video art and contemporary artistic practices associated with the moving image, and throughout this period it has shown iconic works by artists like Christian Marclay, Ragnar Kjartansson, Pierre Huyghe, Diana Thater, William Kentridge, Javier Téllez, Sharon Lockhart, Monira Al Qadiri, Alex Reynolds, and Marine Hugonnier, among many others.

This time, a selection of works by Anthony McCall (St. Paul’s Cray, United Kingdom, 1946) is being presented in a show entitled Split Second. McCall is a British artist living in New York who is a pioneer in new artistic media, expanded cinema, and video installations. Using projected light, McCall creates sculptural phenomena which plunge visitors into an immersive experience. The rays of light create geometric structures, while dots grow to form lines, either straight or curved segments that sometimes crisscross in the space. These configurations can be interpreted as air drawings, minimalist sculptures, or a type of radically abstract cinema. These three fields— cinematography, sculpture, drawing—have converged in McCall’s works since the 1970s and are called “solid light,” a concept that refers to the effect caused by the controlled projection of planes of light in the exhibition space. The solid light shapes are subjected to constant changes in orientation, position, and scale, giving the impression that they are tangible and encouraging the public to walk through them in a paradoxical interaction, since they cause no tactile sensations but instead only an inexhaustible sense of surprise.

The exhibition presents the premiere of a new solid light work by McCall called Split Second Mirror IV (2024), a double horizontal light projection that includes two large mirrors, projectors, and translucent screens. These elements divide or split the two conical volumes generated by the light placed symmetrically in the gallery, as if they sought to reflect or multiply their respective motions. In this new creation, the light is projected at differing heights, causing elliptical and horizontal effects. Plus, the artist uses digital animation to make the forms rotate in space, where they merge to create a linear drawing consisting of a field of intersecting, spiraling planes.



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