A shadow play on the facade of the Maritime Museum sounds straightforward, but nothing is what it seems when it comes to the work of South African artist and activist Marcus Neustetter. There is always more than meets the eye.
“A moment I often reflect on is walking into an installation by Anthony McCall, being immersed in moving sheets of light” Neustetter says when asked which artwork made a lasting impression on him. “In contrast, another installation - a large immersive temple-like assembly of carvings by South African sculptor Jackson Hlungwani - also left me curious and inspired to explore the magical and mysterious of the unknown.”
“But I am also rooted in socially engaged practices” Neustetter continues. “Trying to make sense of my own position in a context, both in South Africa and globally, where struggles for power have left stories untold and voices unheard.” According to Neustetter, the future of light art is rooted in storytelling: "Light and electricity are also symbols of power. Artists are becoming more expressive about its social and political meaning.”
This has led him to creating a series of artworks, of which ‘Shadow Scapes’ is a part. “My quest of investigating storerooms and archives for foreign artifacts have led me to some of the worlds largest museum collections. The results are shadow landscape videos that have stimulated and given rise to a light and shadow installation that talks about the speculative origins for the worlds treasures in museum storerooms.”
‘Shadow Scapes’ is supported by The National Maritime Museum.