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24/02/2017
BBC Radio 4

    Editor's Note: You can listen to this episode of Saturday Review from Saturday 2 February

    Anthony McCall: "You and I", Horizontal (2005)

    ©the artist, courtesy of the artist and Spruth Magers Berlin London, Photo: Linda Nylind

    Light is pretty much a sine qua non of any art exhibition - without it you're not going to have a lot to look at. But only in the most literal sense is light what you go to look at. That isn't the case with the Hayward Gallery's Light Show, another of its themed exhibitions of contemporary art. (Not so long ago we reviewed their show Invisible, which was all about art that, strictly speaking wasn't there).

    Light Show consists of work explicitly made with light and about light - and in a grey January it's something of an oasis of dazzle. Not everything is bright  - Anthony McCall's You and I, Horizontal (see picture above and below) is a "solid light installation" in a darkened room, a projector cutting through a faint haze in the air to produce a surprisingly tangible cone in the space, in and out of which visitors can move. And other pieces only reveal what they're about after you've spent some time allowing your retina to become saturated with a particular kind of light.

    Anthony McCall: "You and I", Horizontal (2005)

    ©the artist, courtesy of the artist and Spruth Magers Berlin London, Photo: Linda Nylind

    When you move from one room to another of Carlos Cruz-Diez's Chromosaturation (also pictured below) you find yourself experiencing intense blasts of colour which slowly fade as your eyes adjust. I thought some parts of the show were enchanting but I wonder whether our guests this week might think it a little gimmicky as a form of curation.

    Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation (1965-2013)

    ©the artist/DACS, Cruz-Diez Foundation, Photo: Linda Nylind

     

    Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation (1965-2013)

    ©the artist/DACS, Cruz-Diez Foundation, Photo: Linda Nylind

     

    We've got the writer Sarfraz Manzoor, the novelist Naomi Alderman and the actor Kerry Shale on the programme this week - which means, I guess, that Kerry won't be reading the extract from our novel - Lucy Ellmann's Mimi (a pity in a way, since its New Yorker narrator is right up his vocal street).

    Also up for review this week is Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing on the Edge, a new drama about a black jazz band in pre-war London, Simon Stephens' play Port - featuring a tour de force performance from Kate O'Flynn as a young Stockport woman hoping not to replay the disappointments of her mother and father, and Flight - in which Denzel Washington plays an alcoholic pilot who saves a planeful of people, but doesn't walk away from the crash entirely unscathed himself.

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