One year ago, visitors to the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum were on their backs: facing the ceiling, indisposed, but not unconscious. Instead, they were checking out Aten Reign, artist James Turrell's site-specific light sculpture of legendary proportions. A massive, scrim-lined cone that projected the artist's signature colored lights all the way from the skylight where it was suspended, down to only feet above the floor of the of the Frank Gehry-designed space, the artwork required an installation process of epic proportions.
On the anniversary of the gone-but-not-forgotten Aten Reign, the Guggenheim has released an in-depth documentary featurette that goes behind-the-scenes of how the museum installed the awe-inspiring light sculpture.
Explains Christopher George, the Guggenheim’s Chief Fabricator, "We have a limited installation time once we're on-site at the museum, so we wanna make sure that process happens as smoothly as possible." With a project as ambitious as Aten Reign, this meant that George and company had to go to great lengths and use both new and self-fabricated technologies to make the herculean installation possible. No matter, says George, "An artist comes to us with an idea, and it's up to us to come up with a technical solution to fulfill that vision."
Images © Florian Holzherr, via