Light therapy

Exhibition: Moderna Museet Projekt

Location: Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Year: 1999

Curator: Maria Lind

Courtesy: Moderna Museet

Photo: Apolonija Šušteršič, Per-Anders Allsten

Furniture made of MDF boards; coloured white and covered with white felt; bright lights on the wall; TL-lights on the ceiling; white felt carpet; ceiling and wall made of white plastic textile material; white coats; white shoe covers; library with books and magazines; jug of water; cups, advertisement in the daily press; flers; instructions for use on the wall; title-logo.

The idea focused on the program and typology of space within the contemporary museum of today, how it functions as a public space, as a social and political structure in itself. Light Therapy became an addition to and comment on the museum’s program, since it is clear that museums today not only function as an exhibition space but also offer other activities.

Light Therapy is also an obvious response to the Nordic context, its environment and lack of light, especially in the wintertime. The official Light Therapy derives from psychiatric hospitals, where this treatment is used to fight Seasonal Afective Disorder (SAD), milder winter blues and sleep disorders caused by jetlag and overwork, or lack of daylight. It is a therapy with no proven side effects, which everyone can use.

Advertisements for Light Therapy were placed in local newspapers and flers were handed out in town to inform the public that light therapy was available to everyone. A special logo, the title of the work, was developed by adapting the logo of Moderna Museet.

Library: Alvar Aalto 1973; Turner: A Life (James Hamilton); Experiencing Architecture (Steen Eiler Rasmussen); Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History (Eduardo Cadava); Gathering Light (Richard Ross, Eduardo Cadava), On the Museum’s Ruins (Douglas Crimp); Rirkrit Tiravanija: Supermarket (Rein Wolfs, ed.); Architectural Interior Systems (John E. Flynn); Museum Ethics (Gary Edson, ed.); The Birth of the Museum (Tony Bennett); Designing with Light – Public Places: Lighting Solutions for Exhibitions, Museums, and Historic Places (Janet Turner); The Institutions of Art (Modern German Culture and Literature) (Peter Bürger, Christa Bürger); Imagining the Future of The Museum of Modern Art: Studies in Modern Art 7 (R. Irwin, S. Holl, E. Murray); Il Museo Italiano (Edizione Lybra Immagine); 50 Lights: Innovations in Design and Materials (Mel Byars); Moderna Museet och Arkitekturmuseet i Stockholm (Rafael Moneo, Johan Mårtelius); Bruce Nauman 25 years, Leo Castelli Gallery (Bruce Nauman, Susan Brundage, ed.); The Design of Lighting (Peter Tregenza, David Loe); New Museology (Andreas C. Papadakis, ed.), The Architecture of Museums (Francisco Asensio Cerver); Long Green (James Turrell); Im Licht des Nordens (Mikael Adsenius, Henrik Orrje, Svenrobert Lundqvist, eds.); Dan Flavin – Installationen in Floureszierenden Licht 1989–1993 (Dan Flavin); The Art of Light and Space (Jan Butterfield)