04 September 2015

Skip Staheli and Regi Yifu at BOSL Art Gallery

Opening tomorrow, Saturday, September 5, from 10 to 11 am, is an installation and exhibition by photographer Skip Staheli and interactive artist Regi Yifu at the new BOSL Art Gallery. Widely appreciated for their excellent quality, Skip's images are presented here as projections, so it's essential that visitors turn on advanced lighting model — otherwise, the canvases will simply appear to be blank. It's also important to select a dark windlight setting, and although Skip and Regi suggest Ambient Dark, I found the even darker Phototools- No Light more to my liking. Either way, one will immediately see the gallery come to life with a kaleidoscopic montage of projected images. "I saw Regi's lightshow the other year, and I suddenly thought, 'I have to ask him if he wants to do that with me!'" Skip told me as we talked about the collaboration. (Above, he inspects an image.)

Skip's 28 photographs are displayed on a series of flat surfaces, but the images won't be immediately intelligible, as they're projected by Regi using three distinct light channels (image immediately above). As visitors approach them, a "bump" into a prim in front of each image causes the channels to converge, thereby displaying the composite photograph (image immediately below). "It takes some practicing," Skip encouraged. "You really have to bump in the middle and stay connected." I also discovered that my own camera settings — I use Penny Patton's — actually made it more difficult to see the images. So if, like me, you've changed your camera angle, you might want to switch it back to fully enjoy this exhibition. But these are minor points, and I provide them more as helpful insight to visitors than as criticism of the installation.

For those visitors who can't use advanced lighting model, Skip has helpfully mounted the original images on the reverse of the display areas. The beautiful projected images that slowly rotate through the walls and ceiling of the spaces (such as shown below) were provided by Regi, who also offers to visitors some delightful wearable elements, including body lights that project onto your avatar, making you one with the installation, and a personal projector to help you find your way in the dark. Those who enjoy the experience will no doubt also want to visit Regi's own space, the Regimade Light Gallery. The exhibition will continue for three months, into December 2015.

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