LJUSET (10 Oct 2020 - 10 Jan, 2021)
Nygatan 7, Landskrona, Sweden

We are showing three mesmerizing films by German artist Philipp Lachenmann at the light festival LJUSET.
Starting Oct 10 with SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby)and followed by AKM (Turkish Night) and DELPHI_Rationale, we will do a vaguely light-themed presentation of Lachenmann's work. The films will be shown consequentially, looping one film per month, with each video no longer than 13:20min and thusly watchable in their entirety despite the cold dark street setting.
Dec 10, 2020 - Jan 10, 2021
still from DELPHI_Rationale DELPHI_Rationale
Year of Production: 2015/2019
Duration: 12 minutes
Material: 4K video, sound
Philipp Lachenmann
12 min

Philipp Lachenmann (b 1963) is a German multimedia artist currently based in Istanbul, but otherwise living and working in Germany and the USA. Lachenmann has presented his works around the world, including large scale solo exhibitions at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin and Ace Gallery in Los Angeles.

DELPHI Rationale is an art video work filmed in the DELPHI particle detector at CERN in Geneva/Switzerland* where the Higgs Boson - "God's Particle" - was discovered in 2012 (

Involving an Indian sarod player and elaborate postproduction, the temple of scientific discoveries and expanding knowledge is turned into the Mise-en-scène for a paradoxical mystery. By subverting the physical functions and scientific tasks of the detector, DELPHI Rationale delves into the interstice of objectivity, and infuses the mathematical world of cause & effect with layers of irrationality, wonder, and aesthetics.
In its wake, color as a matter of dramaturgy leads to "Painting Reloaded".

An Indian musician enters the picture with his instrument, a Sarod, playing a specific musical sequence, a Morning Raga, while the cables of the particle detector slowly fill with colors.
The chosen colors actually reference the 'History of Color Film', exemplified by using specific Technicolor spectrums. An average of eight crucial colors were extracted from a selection of seminal historical technicolor films: "Wizard of Oz", "Garden of Allah", "Gone with the Wind", then this selection of colors was flowingly applied to the cables.
When the musician finally leaves the picture, classic Titian Red starts to dominate the scene, referencing the essential color of the Italian Renaissance, and thus "Painting" itself.
The detector filling with color & changing hues was produced in about 2 years of post production.

Choice of Indian Music as opposition to Western logocentric world conception.

Western Music: - Based on mathematics, concept of harmony, disharmony, analytical.
Indian Music: - Strings fluctuating, vibration, oscillation, microtones, ornaments, improvisation, intuitive, spiritual. (here: Carnatic Music)

--> Rabindranath Tagore: "The world by day is like European music - a flowing concourse of vast harmony, composed of concord and discord and many disconnected fragments. And the night world is our Indian music: one pure deep and tender raga. They both stir us, yet the two are contradictory in spirit."

--> Rohit Kapoor: "If you move your head horizontally it is Indian music, and if the motion of your head is vertical the music is definitely western."
Since an indispensable faculty of the pure scientist is one whose aspiration to the intangible borders on the aesthetic, the sitar player embodies this condition not only because the medium is an art form, but also because the art form is interpretative and because the instrument, unlike the piano for example, is not confined to discrete notes, but is capable of infinite variations of notes in half notes, quarters, sixteenths, and thirty-seconds unto the limits of our ability to distinguish. Recall that it is by means of sounds or digitally reconstituted “noise” that we perceive the universe through radio telescopes that produce the images on the screens in this channel. Such “noise” was at the heart of Penzias and Wilson’s discovery of evidence of confirmation of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.


  past (Nov 10 - Dec 10)
still from AKM (Turkish Night)  

AKM (Turkish Night) 2019

4K Digital Video, Sound, 13:20 minutes
Footage recorded in Istanbul, Turkey, in March 2018.
Finished May 2019.


A video about the cultural center AKM Atatürk Kültür Merkezi - commonly called "the opera" - recorded in Istanbul on Taksim Square, the heart of the Bosporus metropolis.
While passers-by and traffic move in the foreground, a fantastic psychedelic play of colors is developing in the empty rooms of the condemned-to-demolition and now faceless concert hall, awakening the building for a last time to a brief glittering life.
The AKM is the central symbol of the modern, secular Republic of Turkey. During the period of the Gezi protests in 2013 demonstrators made the deteriorating AKM the place of their resistance - and thus the hate object of the progressively autocratic Turkish government.
It was demolished in early 2018 to make room for a new building.
With this piece of "moving painting" AKM (Turkish Night) refers also to the color symbolism in the construction of collective images, - currently apparent in the large-scale project of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan trying to replace the previous national color Red with an Islamic Turquoise.
The AKM concert hall was filmed in March 2018 when the façade was completely removed but the remaining architectural skeleton still standing.
Then in postproduction the AKM architecture was rebuilt in 3D and a complex choreography of light and color forms digitally inserted into the empty structure.
The interplay of light & color sequences, and an elaborate sound design, in which individual politically and historically charged spaces are manifested reflects the imaginary memory of the AKM and brings the opera - bound for wrecking - to a final sparkling performance.
References include e.g. the cinematic process of "American Night" (also called "DayForNight") from the 1930s, and Goya's etching "El sueño de la razón produce monstruos" ("The Sleep of Reason") from 1797.
Historical note:
Colors have always played an important role in Byzantium / Constantinople / Istanbul.
For example at the so-called "Nika Rebellion" in the year 532 AD, the heaviest circus unrest of late antiquity. In this insurgence the two major circus / city parties of the "Blue" (Veneti) and the "Greens" (Prasini), originally founded as ancient "fan clubs" of various charioteers, allied and initiated a rebellion against Emperor Justinian. He finally summoned the people to the Hippodrome under the pretense of reconciliation, bribed some of the "Blues" in his favor, and ordered his troops to slaughter the remaining "Blues" and "Greens" killing 30,000 people.

(Oct 10 - Nov 10)
still from SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby)

SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby), 2002/2008
12:30 minutes
High Definition Video HDV

A remote prison in the desert during the blue hour. The compound prepares for the night, the lights are gradually switched on. Simultaneously to the illuminating on the ground approaching aircraft lights appear in the evening sky, one after the other, slowly accumulating, hovering, floating.
The filmed prison is the California Correctional Institution (CCI) in the Mojave Desert. The CCI is one of four prisons in California providing the infamous SHU: „Security Housing Unit“ = „Level IV, but designed to provide maximum coverage“, - meaning: „Solitary Confinement“, partly as life sentence. SHU/Solitary Confinement is the most severe penalty in US American criminal law after Condemned (Death Penalty). In 1998 Amnesty International classified SHU/Solitary Confinement as „Torture“.
The prison footage was filmed in 2004. The lights in the sky are digitally composed of single airplanes arriving in flight corridors during the blue hour, filmed at the airports of Los Angeles, Frankfurt, London.
"SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby)" was partly inspired by the famous Walt Disney movie logo of "Cinderella Castle" and stars circling it. Further, its reference encompasses an eclectic line up of classic film topics from Science Fiction to War of the Worlds, but also the Roadmovie motif, Antonioni’s "Zabriskie Point", Coppola’s "Apocalypse Now", Jackson Pollock’s Drip Paintings, Van Gogh’s Arles series, and the tradition of the German Romantic landscape painting.

All text on works by Philipp Lachenmann
Sound designer for all films: Anders Ehlin
curators Nina Slejko Blom & Conny Blom. For the LJUSET festival -