Light installation to debut in Tehran

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Photo By: ISNA

A projection mapping light installation titled ‘Gate of Words’ by German artist Philipp Geist will take place at Tehran‘s Azadi Tower from October 3 to 5.
The installation artistically visualizes the topics of freedom, peace, space and time. In a free and poetical manner, the artist addresses these topics during the installation, which are relevant for Germany and Iran, and develops a light installation made of colored words and concepts in different languages.

Azadi Tower is the landmark of modern Tehran. Its architecture establishes a connection between the modern, Islamic architecture and the Sassanid style.

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Abstract picturesque image compositions will fit precisely on the building and will be combined with words and phrases that appear in these scenic elements. Over the course of the installation and in advance, words and quotes on freedom, peace and time are compiled and integrated, and the visitors are welcome to submit their associations beforehand. Thus, Geist develops a dialogue between the place, the visitors and his artistic work.

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Photo By: ISNA

Azadi Tower is a three-dimensional light sculpture that can be crossed by the visitors. This passage has a strong symbolism: Gates are places for encounters of the new and the old, and where both the retrospective of the past and the view into a future of development and change is made possible. Geist implements these topics poetically and artistically.

Iran Daily conducted an interview with Geist to learn more about projection mapping light installation. The text of the interview follows:

IRAN DAILY: Although many Iranian artists know you, can you briefly tell us about yourself and your previous artistic works?

GEIST: I started to perform projection mapping light installation during concerts since 1966. According to the subject of the concert, I have performed in different world-famous buildings, museums and squares. Thailand, the UK, Egypt and Russia are among the countries I have performed light installation.

I also know the techniques of photography and painting whose role in transferring the concepts to people through light installation is undeniable.

Do you use patterns or lines in transferring the concepts? Do you have any particular style in the world?

In fact, I use both methods. Several people are performing light installations during concerts around the world, but the method of transferring abstract concepts to the audience differentiates the artists. I always wanted to mix patterns and lines in holding my programs which eventually helped me create a new style in the field.

A subject is of high significance in selecting the light background. For instance, once I performed a concert on the basis of time and place in Canada. I showed the words in a foggy atmosphere to transfer the intended concept. In fact, fog was the metaphor for time instability

To what extent can light installation influence the audience in transferring the abstract concepts?

In this method, audience considers himself/herself as part of the lightened atmosphere. I am sure that being among lights and words in a three-dimensional atmosphere is effective in conveying messages.

I tried to illustrate words one by one to make the reader pay more attention to them. Sometimes, words are legible and sometimes not. Using this method, I make great attempts to make each and every reader have his/her own interpretation of the subject.

Do you choose the music for the concerts? Which musical style do you prefer for your performances?

I have used different musical pieces by several musicians in my performances. Actually, the first step is that they see the light installation and then prepare the music. I have used musical pieces in electronic, avant-garde and techno styles.

In my opinion, music can greatly help light arrangements and transfer of concepts and meanings. Therefore, choosing the music requires great attempts.

Why did you decide to come to Iran and how did you agree to undertake Azadi Tower light installation?

I was invited by the German Embassy to carry out the project in Iran. Of course, I was familiar with rich Iranian culture as well as its historical monuments, museums and famous squares. I made up my mind to take a trip to Iran for the first time and experience a new work here.

You will carry out the project, called ‘Gate of Words’, to transfer the concepts, namely freedom, peace and time. Why did you choose these concepts?

Peace and freedom are the concepts which all people in the world seek for their fulfillment. German people are peaceful and calm. Since the tower is called Freedom Tower in English, I intended to transfer the meaning through one of the famous Iranian towers by the same name.

German artist Annika Henderson is responsible for choosing the music of the impending program. In the light of the Eastern and Western music, particularly Iranian music, which musical style did you chose for the performance?

The music has been chosen in electronic style. However, the program will be held in three consecutive nights with each being different from the other. Interestingly, one of the musical pieces is chosen in Iranian style.

How long have you spent on the project?

Right from the beginning, I have spent three months on the project and now I came to Iran a few days in advance to finalize the work and prepare for a better work.


Editorial Team
editorial team
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