Nicolai Howalt Light Break
Nicolai Howalt’s methods and experiments reflect a fundamental interest in photography and light as material, letting the light become the subject matter. Light Break takes, as its point of departure, the historical practice of medical phototherapy, which doctor and Nobel laureate Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904) developed and practiced in Denmark at the end of the 19th century. Howalt investigates and visualizes visible and invisible areas of the light spectrum, and the power of the life-giving as well as destructive radiation of sunlight.
Inspired by Finsen’s method, and by making use of Finsen’s original coloured filters and lenses as well as contemporary colored filters, Howalt was able to absorb selected areas of light from the sun, allowing the remaining areas of the electromagnetic spectrum to pass through Finsen’s original rock crystal lenses onto photosensitive paper (C-print). This unique method of light exposure resulted in a series of original imprints created by the sunrays passing through unhindered, directly from the sun and onto the paper. A universe unfolded, depicting the raw impressions of the sun and of light itself.