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Light Break - Photography / Light Therapy

264 pages
25 tritone plates & 80 colour plates
23,3 cm x 27.3 cm
Embossed Hardcover
Publication date: May 2015

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER Copies will ship in May 2015 - mail(a)nicolaihowalt.com

Documentary and aesthetic encounter between photography, science and visual art.


Light Break takes its point of departure in the medical phototherapy that the doctor and Nobel laureate Niels Ryberg Finsen practised at the end of the nineteenth century. This part of medical history has led the visual artist Nicolai Howalt into a field of work where sunbeams are the central concern. In photographic one-off works he investigates and visualizes the visible and invisible part of the light spectrum, the power of the sun and its life-giving as well as its destructive radiation.

Light Break is a documentary and aesthetic encounter between photography, science and visual art. The exhibition reflects Nicolai Howaltís fundamental and photographic interest in light as material. In his investigations Howalt uses the scientific methods and apparatuses of the nineteenth century. For example he has borrowed a number of Finsenís lenses from Medicinsk Museion. Inspired by Finsenís method and with the aid of coloured filters, Howalt absorbs parts of the rays of the sun and lets the remaining selected area of the electromagnetic spectrum pass through original rock crystal lenses. The beams of light are thus captured on photosensitive paper (C-print) and the resulting photograms thus become unique, untreated impressions of some of the rays of the sun. An almost subjectless universe of the sun and light itself takes form in the large number of images in the exhibition.