Hommes Foundation, Rotterdam 2010.
Wood, paint, mirror, bulb lamps, rubber, screws. Dimensions variable. Light box dimensions: 100 x 100 x 100 cm.
With Backspace a stair becomes a mountain, threatening and maybe difficult to climb but still, necessary to use in order to enter the exhibition space. This intervention transformed the entrance of the gallery into another entrance, visitors are inside the physical space, but not yet inside the gallery, which stays hidden behind.
The people need to climb to the first floor where, the existing stair will bring them down again into the ground floor, between the construction skeleton of the stair.
The Backspace is the space behind the stair, a new space within the gallery. Only a little roof window brings a cozy light inside the space. Over this unique window, a light box made of mirrors and light bulbs is positioned from the outside of the gallery, being the source of light.
Backspace is the ‘other’ side, the reverse, that which is turned the other way round or up or inside out...or literally: the other side of that which we—under normal circumstances—can, may, or would like to see. Backspace is an installation that singles out structural conventions, confronting us with inversion pushed to the point of absurdity. How can you experiment with the meaning of forms as the symbolic building blocks of our living environment? How does the new spatiality affect our identity? Is it possible that the materials that make up our sense of ‘self’ are also architectural? What does the structure of a place in which we find ourselves
signify? How do we behave towards one another when faced with architecture? With Backspace, Licari has embarked on a provocative challenge that shows a deep interest in the cutting edge of architecture and visual art, and displays his commitment to the visionary and the bold.
This work was made possible with the support of Hommes Foundation and Fonds BKVB.
Text by Nele Buys. Photo by Lorenzo Casali.