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In light of current events



The scene from Sari Palosaari´s `In light of current events´ is a visual exclamation mark in the body of buildings that constitute the Entrance 100/101. The technically advanced work is fully integrated in the architecture and a result of a line of co-working, both with the architects in White who have drawn the building and with the long-term specialists,  programmer (Eetu Huhtala), electric designer (Gregoire Rousseau) and the glass entrepreneur.


From the outside the work is experienced through frosted glass facet. On the inside one meets it as a variable light emitting glass wall that encloses a lecture hall in connection to the main entrance of the building. Sensors on the roof of the house read and interpret the colors and intensity of the light on the sky and translate the information for the illumination streaming forward through the sandblasted glass along the long curve that forms the auditorium wall.


Time, space and materiality are important aspects in Palosaari’s practice, and `In light of current events´ can be described as scientifically correct reproduction of the changing now in the surrounding around the hospital building. But as well, as a hint about the sublime experience of nature that already the 19th century romantic painters chased after.


The work gives a possibility for the viewer to be enfolded by its complete presence. And offers a reminder that all instants are particles in a long chain of small moments in perpetual transformation.


Transparency in the work is in a way total. With the mechanical precision it shows what's on the outside of the very windows one can't see through. But in that exact reproduction furthermore dwells an almost esoteric lure, a reminder of how life even in its most mundane form – say an overcast sky on a day in October – holds a mystery that resides in colors and in the passing of time. 


The double perspective recurs constantly in Palosaari’s high-tech landscape. The work gives an intuitive feeling of immediate presence, but is followed by advanced gathering and processing of information.


The light emitting glass wall with its direct contact to its environment is extremely site-specific. But the experience to move between the work and the outside walls’ semitransparent glass, is strikingly freed from the specific place and drags closer towards a fantastic utopian space.

`In light of current events´ can seem disconnected with its wink to old time painting and with its grandiose minimalism, but at the same time it is a highly topical remark of the insight that the human has no other choice than to act in tune with the environment.


Sebastian Johans 

Published in catalogue Konsten på Akademiska Sjukhuset / Ingång 100/ 101, Region Uppsala 2020.

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