The M HKA’s rooftop terrace has it’s own Skyspace by James Turrell. A Skyspace is a cube-shaped space with a single door opening and a square hole in the ceiling. Bench seats are provided along the walls, and during the day one can wonder at the ‘cut-out’ piece of light through the ceiling, seemingly in constant motion. At dusk, the blue light grows progressively deeper, clouds and passing airplanes become invisible and the first stars emerge. The opening seems as filled with a velvety jet-black cloth, like a dark square that had come to be painted on the ceiling. Depth perception falls away, the black seems impenetrable while the sky outside the cube – visible via the door opening – traces its normal evolution from day to night. An experience that has the viewer become conscious of light and space in a fresh way, while evoking a new awareness of time as well.
The Skyspace at M HKA was restored in June 2013 with support from Bank Degroof.
James Turrell’s installations are usually site specific and demand of the viewer a certain degree of time in order to fully experience the ‘illusionistic’ effects of space and light. The relationship between these two elements are essential to this artist’s work. Turrell makes light visible by lending it a spatial, near tangible quality.
James Turrell started creating his Skyspaces in the mid-1970s. Since then he’s constructed these at various points around the globe, including France, Italy, Ireland, Israel, the U.S.A. and the Netherlands.