Martin Creed

Work No. 227, The Lights Going On And Off


Not on view
Electrical timer (frequency five seconds on/five seconds off)
Dimensions variable
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
© 2015 Martin Creed
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Martin Creed has 6 works online.
There are 330 installation works online.

The content of this work is almost nothing: a gallery with bare walls in which the lights turn on and off in intervals of five seconds. This piece is based on a cycle of repetitive contradictions: each five-second phase is denied by the next. Creed controls the fundamental conditions ofvisibility within the gallery and redirects our attention to the walls that normally act as support and background for art objects. He treats the gallery as a medium to be molded, manipulating the existing lighting to create a new effect. Akin to John Cage's influential 1952 sound piece 4''33"—a four-minute, thirty-three-second composition of silence—Creed's witty, sensorial work subverts the normal spatial and temporal parameters of viewing experience.

Gallery label from Out of Time: A Contemporary View, August 30, 2006–April 9, 2007

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