Anthony McCall (born 1946 in St Paul’s Cray, England) became known at the beginning of the 1970s for his unique light installations, the so-called solid light films. Hamburger Bahnhof is presenting the largest exhibition of his work to date. A selection of his works from the past ten years will be shown in the historic central hall of the museum. The spacious former railway station with its numerous windows will be transformed for the duration of the exhibition into a cinema space (black box), filled only with haze and veils of light.
McCall has developed a signature technique for his work: animated lines, drawn in white on black, are projected into a room filled with fine haze (originally smoke and dust) so that the two-dimensional drawings are articulated as seemingly tangible, sculptural forms in real space. After moving to New York (where he still lives) in 1973, the artist began this series with the influential film Line Describing a Cone and then continued to develop the concept in installations like Long Film for Four Projectors (1974). Originally inspired by the filmic avant-garde around the London Film-Makers’ Co-op, from the very beginning the artist turned cinema on its head, slowed it down, and created a fully traversable, populist space. Thus, his works exist at the borders of cinema, sculpture and drawing. The works are ephemeral, yet they seem tangible and physical. Projected horizontally through the space onto the wall, or – as in his most recent works – from the ceiling to the floor, they engulf the viewer in singular, slow-moving cones of light.