In celebration of Hanukkah, this exhibition will explore how eight contemporary artists use the transformative properties of light to create luminous, magnificent visual objects and spaces.
Light x Eight: The Hanukkah Project marks the Jewish festival of lights with an exhibition of installations by eight emerging and mid-career artists. While the use of light and the number eight are certainly symbolic in this Jewish context, the specific way that light is used in each of these pieces extends the metaphor of celebration in surprising and unexpected ways. Light is a symbol of transformation in the story of Hanukkah: when an oil lamp miraculously burns for eight days, a desperate situation is changed into one of hope.
All of the works in this exhibition make the symbolism of the Hanukkah story more tangible as they explore light’s transformative properties. Here, light either emanates from or is directed at a work as a means of transforming simple everyday materials into luminous objects and spaces. Light has fascinated artists for centuries. Recently, however, many artists have moved away from depicting light to using light itself as a medium, exploring its physical attributes as well as its effects on vision and perception. Together, the works in this exhibition reveal the extraordinarily varied approaches used by contemporary artists working in this common vein.
Light x Eight: The Hanukkah Project, the fifth exhibition on this theme organized by the Jewish Museum, can be found on the first floor in the Grant Gallery; adjacent to the staircase in the museum’s permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey; and on the third floor in the Jerome Greene Contemporary Gallery.