Light-Space Modulator

László Moholy-Nagy, Light-Space Modulator, 1922-1930, replica 1970
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

László Moholy-Nagy, Light-Space Modulator, 1922-1930, replica 1970
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Three moveable metal and/or glass structures arranged on a rotating disc form the core of the Light-Space Modulator. However, it only develops its impact in a darkened space, such as the “cubic box” envisioned by Moholy-Nagy, where it produces spectacular shadow formations in an interplay with coloured and white light.

The kinetic sculpture was first displayed in 1930 as part of the German contribution to the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) exhibition in Paris. That same year, its effects were the subject of the film Lichtspiel Schwarz-Weiß-Grau (Light Play Black-White-Grey), which was directed by Moholy-Nagy. In 1931, the work, also known as Light Prop for an Electric Stage, was to be exhibited in the planned but never realised installation Raum der Gegenwart (Room of the Present Day) in the Provinzialmuseum, Hanover.

Literature:
Katenhusen, Ines: “Alexander Dorner‘s and László Moholy-Nagy‘s ‘Space of the Present’ at the Hanover Provincial Museum” in: Gärtner, Ulrike; Hemken, Kai-Uwe; Schierz, Kai Uwe (Ed.): Artificial Light Play: The Aesthetics of Light in the Classic Avant-Garde, Bielefeld, Leipzig 2009, pg. 128-137.