Darren Almond Interview: The Landscape of the Night

The landscape of the night is like a Jackson Pollock painting – you know it’s a Pollock straight away. You can read every mark within miliseconds, you feel the void, there is this calmness, that comes upon you. Interview with British artist Darren Almond about his series of full moon pictures.

Light generates life – this is why we are drawn to it, explains Darren Almond in this conversation. But contrary to the harsh light of the sun, the reflective light of the moon makes us see further. The landscape of the night is an emotional landscape as much as it is a physical landscape. “There is a space there that is between everything – between our consiousness and sub-consciousness. It’s where they kind of come together. It’s a space, where we are able to reflect.”

In the beginning Almond wondered whether or not it was possible to take pictures merely with the light of the moon. When he develeoped the first exposures, he was surprised. At first sight the images looked like day-light pictures, but studying them closer, they were different. The long exposure softened the shadows and created an outer worldly, dream-like experience.

“We are no longer familiar with the landscape of the night – away from all the light pollution, we are creating and surround ourselves with. The moon is the sculpture, that belongs to everybody on the planet. It’s a small glimmer of light between two voids of darkness. The moon to me is a historical point, a point we can relate to. Everything beyond the moon is just too far away, is beyond language.”

“The landscape of the night does hold memory. We can read it with far greater depth than we are able to communicate. We understand all this deep, deep down in our subconsciousness. This landscape beneath the moon holds a void – an openness beyond the frame that resembles a kind of harmony. This void means a moment of reflection that can stretch time for our thought. It’s amazing how illuminated we feel by the digital age, but it seems to be guiding us into the Dark Ages again. Too much information is not necessarily a good thing.”

English artist Darren James Almond (b. 1971) works in a variety of media including photography and film, which he uses to explore the effects of time on the individual. He uses film, photography and sculptural work to harnesses the symbolic and emotional potential of objects, places and situations, producing works which have universal as well as personal resonances.

Almond was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2005, where he exhibited the four-screen video installation If I Had You (2003) about his grandmother – ‘a portrait of youthful reminiscence and the dignity of old age’. In 1996, Almond was awarded the Art & Innovation Prize by the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, followed by his solo exhibition at White Cube, London in 1997. Almond has participated in numerous biennials around the world, including the Venice Biennale in 2003. Almond graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1993, with a BA (hons) degree in Fine Arts.

Darren Almond was interviewed at his studio in London by Marc-Christoph Wagner.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden


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