Last night’s nuit de la culture went much better than I expected. The entire district of Belval was taken over by the event, and a lot of people came to visit. My exhibition, none of the above, was certainly not the most popular, but enough people came by and did the meta thing (took photos of my photos) to leave me feeling rather pleased.

from vigil

Of course, that people took photos of my reflection photos meant I had to take reflection photos of my reflection photos. I think you now see one reason why I chose this location, although, to be fair, there was a good choice of places with water. This one, though, was sheltered against the rain (which turned out to be prescient) and happened to be opposite two cafés, which was very useful given I had to babysit the thing from 5pm to unholiness. I drank rather a lot of decaf, then rather a lot of rooibos.

The place was full of music. Near me was a row of hanging vertical tubes each tuned to a particular note. If you walked along the row tapping each tube, you played Beethoven’s ninth. I heard it repeatedly, at random tempos. In the other direction, there was a circle of the electronic equivalent, which created ambient harmonies. Behind me, in one of the cafés, was an electronic dance music performance with light show. Further away were other unseen musical events. The place was noisy, but pleasantly so.

South of me was an old foundry tower, now a museum. Think of a huge, stable tumbledown, with pipes, stairs, and structure, all outside, all polished. Now imagine fireworks behind them, seen only in reflections in the shining steel. That’s what I saw when I looked up and away.

For my simple, static, presence, the organisers did good work setting up, and I presume taking down, both images and lighting. They also organised the prints, and again did a good job.

There were two lessons to learn should there be another time:

  1. The blacks in the images were not strong enough (although they look worse in the photos than they actually were). The lighting was at such an angle that the deep blacks appeared faded, but since I chose the location, which meant the lighting people had little choice where to put the lights, I take responsibility for that. I simply didn’t consider the lighting when I chose the location.
  2. Secondly, one photo, the top one in the third column, was too dark to work in location. I should have selected something else.

Overall, despite these issues, I was rather pleased with the result.