Light Calligraphy: Heliographies of Memory
‘Heliographies of Memory’ consist in a series of photographs that capture the calligraphic gesture, the very moment where the action of inscription is taking place. In light calligraphy the text is written with light, so the words disappear as soon as they were suggested by the moves of the calligrapher, invisible to the simple eye, they can be captured by a process of long-exposure photography, that reveals the final composition. Said Dokins performed calligraphic actions, while Leonardo Luna’s lens captured them. The series of photographs was created in Netherlands, as the artists were invited by Amsterdam Urban Art Museum / Street Art Today, Heerlen Murals and Locatie Spatie in Arnhem.
Said Dokins explains, “Through these ephemeral interventions with light calligraphy, we capture the invisible, acting on air, using as locations iconic places: historic sites, public plazas, monuments, bulwarks, abandoned places become re-signification spaces. ‘Heliographies of Memory’ is a long-term project that explores diverse social and historical relations that define specific places and, at the same time, re-signify the sites within contemporary imaginary, such as displaced memories encrypted in the flow and transit, a Non-place.”
Said Dokins and Leonardo Luna visited many locations, among them Radio Kootwijk, a small village with around 120 inhabitants. Intentionally isolated in the middle of the woods of Veluwe region, A Building was constructed in 1917, designed by the architect Julius Maria Luthmann. It had the important role of housing a communicational complex where trans-Atlantic connections were established between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (today Indonesia) during the Second World War.
Said Dokins & Leonardo Luna, To Deploy the Natural Plan in All its Amplitude, Heliographies of Memory series, 2017. Radio Kootwijk, Netherlands
Other locations included: Heerlen, a city with traces of the Roman occupation and Medieval remnants, in contrast to Modernist and Avant-Garde architecture, all along in the same place; Arnhem, where they worked on The Airborne Monument, a monument placed in the center of a memorial situated in front of the John Frost Bridge, dedicated to the fallen soldiers during Market Garden Operation, in the Second World War; and Amsterdam-Noord, the old industrial area across the IJ river.