Global Domes XII, 2000

Mori Art Museum: The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, 2009 Photo: Watanabe Osamu | Courtesy of Mori Art Museum

12 disco globes, electric motors, 12 spotlights
Disco globes each 50 cm diameter
Dimensions variable

In Global Domes XII John Armleder uses the deconstructive power of light, to emphasize the fact that our reception never (if at all) limits itself to the perception of the source of light, but always aims at the light emitted or its reflections. Twelve disco balls – mirrored glass balls combined with projectors – are hung at eye level in two parallel rows. The appearance of the work is determined by flittering points of light, wandering endlessly over the ground, ceiling and walls of the exhibition space, as well as the visitors in the space. Although it is unmistakably evident, the constantly changing light ornamentation is only the reflection of beams in mirrored, turning balls. The cause and effect are clearly visible. Everybody has seen mirrored glass balls, whether in a disco, at a fair or in a department store, but this installation exerts a unique fascination. Perhaps by appearing in an exhibition space in an isolated way, this phenomenon, usually only part of a whole range of optical and acoustic stimuli, now floods our senses. In this silence the whole poetic beauty spreads out; there is space to see and to allow oneself to see. Perhaps the attraction that the work emits results from the concrete order that confronts the viewer when the balls are at eye level changing our perspective. When walking between this unusual corridor of balls one’s attention is drawn to the objects themselves, spheres covered with networks of square mirrors – the squaring of a circle. Armleder appreciates the paradox. For him the disco ball is “a combination of pure forms and motion, a sphere covered with a multitude of square elements, a spinning movement of a steady object, creating by its reflections an unsteady spatial setting”. – Margrit Brehm


Group exhibition: Camiños creativos / Creative Paths 
Venue: Fundación Cidade da Cultura de Galicia (organizer); 
Centro Gaiás Museum (exhibition space)
Curators: Monserrat Pis Marcos (curator Holburne Museum, Bath, UK)
Exhibition 11 November 2022 - 9 April 2023

*1948 in Geneva, Switzerland | Living and working in Geneva, Switzerland and New York, USA