Probe 29
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Probe 29 | May 2015 | Current edition

Sascha van Riel  Untitled

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Sasha believes in magic but only if it's true. With no help from the materials she choses: cardboard, striplights and MDF, she creates a place of enchantment.

How different was it to work in the space of Probe compared to other exhibition spaces?
As a scenographer, I make models and I work in theatre-spaces. Models are a good way to examine the space, dimensions, proportions and movement during a play. The main difference is that I didn’t have a story as a starting point, and that I couldn’t use time as a factor to unfold the space; no movements, no focus-changes by lights.
The same issue I encountered though, is that I like to embrace the (theatre-)space itself- not to change it, but to keep the awareness of it; i like the the thin balance between the reality and the suggestion/ illusion in theatre- the tension between reality and imagination. Therefore I like to use visible constructions and often simple interventions and materials to redefine theatre conventions.

What did you want to create in Probe?
Since there was no story as a starting point, I wanted to use Probe itself as a starting point. What does the space have to offer? What qualities can I reveal with simple interventions?

I started to make the walls from mirrors- to see what kind of kaleidoscope it would make from its own specific dimensions. Although the thought was right, the outcome was pretty much something you have seen a thousand times before.
I tried to find something poetic, with lights, in its most simple appearance; the sky, or maybe a mixture of the primary additive colors; red, blue and green. Instead of the sky as a roof, I also wanted to try to use perforated hardboard as a roof, with the holes and angles from the lights as a start, to make a pattern of the mixed colors.
We discovered that the tube lights hanging above the hardboard created a beautiful pattern. We decided to take it from there to see what the lights and materials could tell in function of revealing space.

What obstacles did you run into?
None – it was a playful working proces.
In theatre you mostly have only one point of view- the audience point of view. Now there are nine. It was interesting to see from each point of view what the space could reveal; in this it was surprising to me that the still-standing views became more interesting by its composition.