Vividness

Abelardo Gil-Fournier, 2013

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Vividness is an installation where a light mechanism renders an arrangement of dried flowers into an illusory regime of artificial vitality through the real-time manipulation of colors. By means of a digital projector, complementary colors are sent to the dried leaves and flowers in a way that the resulting image shows no colors at all.

Living plants are first cut and dried so their surface is able to reflect the projected colors, and create thus the illusory grayscale image. The projector lightens then the scene with a rhythmically oscillating color pulse so that the arrangement seems to come to life with a sustained digital breath.

The flow of light in the installation miniaturizes somehow the complex of processes of substitution, replacement and transformation where mechanical, chemical and digital revolutions have relied on. In her book Synthetic Worlds, Esther Leslie has stated that this "transformation of all nature into its artificial counterpart" has been revealed critically as "a landscape that is frozen, frigid, where non-history occurs, a colourlessness that is the 'grey on grey' of non-progress, or progress's reversal indeed, where people and events appear as shadows without bodies".

The installation shows a production of a phenomenon: a simulacrum of life in lifeless beings, characterized with the vividness of colors. It is a controlled setup that is, however, open. A mirror is staged together with the arrangement closing the light loop and inviting visitors to approach the setting. Bodies of visitors can interrupt then the projection beam when crossing the installation space. At this proximity, the arrangement of dried flowers reacts to residual lights and is seen with its old colors.

In his Negative Dialectics, Theodor Adorno stated that there is a space where to catch the indelible color: "Only the utmost distance would be proximity". This radical distance becomes a bodily presence inside Vividness, a proximity which enables to alter the phenomenon as well as rewrite it.