From the Other Side is a large scale neon work commissioned for Deutzer Hafen, Koln. Positioned on the abandoned structure of a 29m wide industrial crane, the work presents its full text SEE THINGS FROM THE OTHER SIDE in two directions, one facing Rhine, the other facing over the Deutzer Hafen itself, towards the iconic Aurora Flour Mills. From The Other Side offers a playful, contradictory experience wherever it is viewed from, with its bold red neon text on white dibond letter forms seen both the right way round and in reverse at all times. Demanding that we somehow view things from another perspective the work engages the viewer directly, drawing attention to our location in respect of the city, the harbour and the wider landscape. At the same time From The Other Side speaks to the dual spatial and narrative context in which it finds itself – the two sides of the river and the harbour, the two sides of the city, with their different social and economic stories all find resonance in the installation.
From the Other Side was commissioned by moderne stadt. The project was curated by Juliane von Herz at Euphoria.
About Tim Etchells’ neon and LED works
Etchells’ neon and LED pieces often draw on his broader fascinations as an artist, writer and performance maker, exploring contradictory aspects of language – the speed, clarity and vividness with which it communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Through simple phrases spelt out in neon, LED and other media, Etchells strives to create miniature narratives, moments of confusion, awkwardness, reflection and intimacy in public and gallery settings. Encountering the neon sign works, in the streets of a city or in the space of a white cube gallery, the viewer becomes implicated in a situation that’s not fully revealed, or a linguistic formulation that generates confusion or ambiguity. As often in Etchells’ work, in the neons the missing parts of the picture are as important as the elements that are present. Invoking a story, or projecting an idea out-of-context, the work invites us in, but into what exactly we can’t be sure.