Based in Marseille, French artist Etienne Rey creates sculptures and installations using light and plastics. His site-specific installations respond to their physical spaces, creating unique situations. Rey’s sculptures alter the conditions of their environments, changing, reflecting and refracting the light and sense of space. Motivated by a curiosity toward consciousness and science of direct experience, Rey uses his artworks to question and reveal the intricacies of human interaction and organization. As moving objects, Rey’s sculptures are also bodies in space and one must negotiate how to move among these objects in the same way one approaches or avoids other persons.
In “Vortex Monochromatique, Diffraction,” Rey turns a whirlpool on its side, giving viewers the singular opportunity to experience the bottom of a whirlpool while also admiring its complex geometry from the sides. “Vortex” isn’t Rey’s only installation that attempts to make the immaterial solid. Works like “Tropique” and “Spirale Polychromatique, Diffraction,” turn light into matter. Both immersive installations, “Tropique” places the viewer in the center of a light field, while “Spirale” makes the magic of stained glass windows palpable by stretching a supposed picture into individual planes. By using principles of geometry and architecture to sculpt light and space, Rey provokes ordinary perception.