DAY FOR NIGHT by Kerry-based artist Lorraine Neeson is currently showing at the Butler Gallery.
Day for Night, also known as Nuit Américaine or American Night, is the name given to cinematographic techniques used to simulate night scenes while shooting in daylight. Filters and methods of underexposure are applied to footage shot in bright sunlight conditions, to create the illusion of darkness or moonlight.
Lorraine Neeson’s exhibition engages thematically with the reversal and inversion of light and darkness implied by this technique. A similar sense of inversion pervades in the modern day phantasmagoria that Neeson has created in the Butler Gallery. Working with light, sound, video installation and architectural intervention, Neeson’s environments disrupt and disorient a conventional sense of spatial and temporal logic.
The space is transformed into an environment of ambiguity in which illusion and reality are interwoven by means of reflection, shifting shadows, projected light and disembodied sound.
A fundamental theme in Neeson’s work is the simultaneous representation of conflicting states of revelation and obliteration. An air of uncertainty prevails as darkness is brought to light, implied thresholds and portals both entice and impede, and the function of light is subverted as it simultaneously illuminates, obliterates, entices and entraps or hovers on the threshold of visibility and invisibility.
Neeson’s exploration points to ideas surrounding presence and haunting in contemporary electronic media and to the role optical technologies played in figuring the invisible and the impalpable, pointing to realms beyond the optically perceptible and, in doing so, instigating a mistrust of vision or scepticism relating to visual perception and the reliability of sight. The exhibition runs at the Butler Gallery until December 16.