Cataract

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 November, 2010, 12:00am
 

Experimenta, Gallery Exit
Nov 5 to Dec 11

Artist Nadim Abbas' latest solo exhibition plays on the dual meanings of 'cataract': a large waterfall and a cloudiness in the lens of the eye that blurs vision.

With two installations in two locations, he explores the idea of opacity: just as rapidly moving water turns from transparent to white, a cataract of the eye is formed when the lens becomes progressively opaque.

At Experimenta, he has installed a free-standing wall with a shower that will run constantly during the show, like an upside-down fountain. At Exit Gallery, he has encased two light boxes showing black-and-white images of waterfalls in aluminium window grates (right).

'The windows at Exit present us with a view of a waterfall, and the shower at Experimenta is the waterfall made flesh,' Abbas says. 'One way to think of the cataract theme is to treat the windows as if they were eyes. Through a window one expects to have a view of something on the other side. In this case, that would be a waterfall, or cataract, which further takes on the double meaning of a cataract of the eye, which causes blindness.'

He says the underlying premise for this show is that seeing is always tempered by a non-visual, or 'blind' element, and that an image is never purely optical. 'An analogy for this would be the blind spot in the back of our eyes, without which sight would not be possible.

'In no way do I expect the viewer to be fooled to into believing that what they see in front of them is a real waterfall. I am more interested in setting up a certain atmosphere which leaves room for the imagination ... I hope that the two spaces will have a mutual effect on one another that could not have been achieved with one space alone.'

89-95 Hollywood Road Lower G/F, Central. Mon-Sat, 11am-7 pm. Gallery Exit, 1 Shin Hing Street, Central. Inquiries: 2541 1299

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