Flavin by Night - A Review

With over 200 visitors, DASMAXIMUM celebrated the start of the anniversary year 2023 on January 27! With "Flavin at Night", the Friends and Sponsors of the Museum, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, offered visitors the opportunity to see Dan Flavin's (1933-1996) light installation "European Couples" (1966-1971) for the first time in the course of twilight and finally in full darkness.

Fig.: Visitors in front of Dan Flavin, "European Couples," 1966-1971, installation view, (c) Estate of Dan Flavin, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023. photo Axel Effner.

"Immerse yourself in a work of art made entirely of light".

- that's how journalist Axel Effner titles the kick-off event for the 2023 anniversary year "Flavin by Night" in his Follow-up report in the Traunreuter Anzeiger. That the term "immersion" is not only metaphorical, but also literal, is also felt by the numerous visitors on the evening of January 27.

Flavin at Night" opened with an art encounter for children. Together, the young participants were able to search for their favorite colors in the room and observe how they change as dusk falls. The question "Where is 'the' work of art anyway, and am I perhaps part of it myself?" also occupied the children and invited them to look very closely at and experience the room, the surroundings and themselves.

The numerous adult visitors, who gathered in the exhibition room for the welcome by José Hazañas (Board of Friends of DASMAXIMUM) and the subsequent introduction to Dan Flavin's work by Dr. Maria Schindelegger (Museum Director), were also able to experience the lighting effect in the room while it was still twilight.

"Entering the room while it is still light outside and stepping outside into the darkness as you leave is quite a magical experience"describes a visitor this transition from day to night in the interaction between light and space. In the ensuing darkness, the windows of the former school building were also impressive, through which the brightly colored artwork seems to step out into the darkness, virtually enveloping the surroundings. In the adjacent forest behind the Flavin Hall, this resulted in a lively play of colors between snow, bushes and trees.

During a short lecture, Vanessa Zmudzinski (research associate DASMAXIMUM) reported on the lifelong relationship and friendship between the artist Dan Flavin and DASMAXIMUM benefactor Heiner Friedrich. Several projects and exhibitions have connected the two since the 1960s. With the light installation "European Couples" (1966-1971) at DASMAXIMUM, this friendship is also clearly perceptible for the visitors of the museum.

It was particularly pleasing that the vast majority of visitors took the time to experience the light installation over and over again in the course of the evening and the various lighting situations. Thus, in addition to the essential program, an entertaining evening was created between art, the present and conversations. The Landgasthof Hittenkirchen with its "Gastrobus" also contributed significantly to the success of the evening: With American Streetfood and warming mulled wine Patrick of the Landgasthof provided for the well-being of the visitors:inside.