Light can make you, and light can break you. Know how, when you see your face in the mirror, lit by a fluorescent tube? Every blemish is magnified to monstrous proportions. That kind of light can be absolutely brutal.
But light can also bathe everything in a rosy, sumptuous glow. This bridge here is called Jules Schelvisbrug. And I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s in poor shape. If you were to sail under it, you’d see massive cracks in the concrete. They’ve even installed sensors there, to monitor how the bridge is holding up. The French artist Olivier Ratsi has made a work about this situation. His artwork XYZ projects abstract lines on the bridge, which give the idea that it’s being scanned for some kind of illness. Scanning the bridge, the artwork seems to ask: “So, how are you doing so far?” It’s slightly unnerving, but at the same time it turns the bridge into a thing of beauty. Well, let me put it differently… Of course the bridge is beautiful as it is, but the projected light seems to remove every last imperfection.
In his other works, Olivier often uses an anamorphosis projection. In this technique, the only time you have a good view of the image is when you stand in exactly the right spot. Did you know that this projection was already used by artists as early as the 16th century?