Ink on Paper

Lars Morell


Print, 7 x (210 x 140 x 2.5 cm).
Materials: shapecut diasec photo's

Collection: Courtesy Lars Morell.

For this exhibition he aligns a strange shape draped beneath a black cloth with the faded reverse side of posters. We see reproductions of historical graphic works from the end of the 19th- and beginning of the 20th century, yet barely visible. The posters advertise shows by illusionists of the period. One typical example, refers to Harry Houdini's trick of escaping from a straightjacket. With the bronze sculpture Silent Codes, visitors seemingly find themselves in the middle of this sort of spectacle.

With the overarching title Porta’s Description, Morrell brings two types of works together that both hark back to an essay by the Italian polymath Giambattista della Porta, entitled: "How to see, in a room, things that are not there." This essay from 1558 appears in the volume Magia naturalis sive de miraculis rerum naturalium, a wide-ranging collection of scientific curiosities and their applications. Among these is a description of the use of a lens in a camera obscura and the heat-effect of light rays, and it delves as well into the use of disappearing ink. In this same essay, della Porta more specifically details how by means of optical illusions (with smoke and mirrors), silhouettes can be made to appear and then disappear again.

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