Anthony McCall Solid Light Works to 3rd June 2018 Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
The opening night of this exhibition was so jam packed it was impossible to get a decent view of what was on offer, so a return visit will be necessary. But a cursory examination quickly revealed that the exhibition was about drawing, and the solidity but transient nature of lines. Lines are defining things but here nothing was being defined but the line itself, set against nothingness, or in the case of the projected light installations, blackness. This all sounds a bit Zen-like, and I think – without ever having come across McCall’s work before – that it easily fits that way of seeing. In the chaos of rooms too full of people, some no doubt fired up with a glass or two of wine, the reaction of the audience literally overshadowed the projections. On occasion it was impossible to see the projections as people flitted in front of the projector like fluttering moths. This level of attention could only have the effect of reducing the spectacle to that of a disco light show, not something to quietly contemplate and absorb. Well maybe that’s just an opening night problem in Wakefield, well known for its night scene.