Martin Creed

Work No. 227, The Lights Going On And Off

2000

Medium
Electrical timer (frequency five seconds on/five seconds off)
Dimensions
Dimensions variable
Credit
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
968.2005
Copyright
© 2016 Martin Creed
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Martin Creed has 10 works online.
There are 381 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

Licensing of MoMA images and videos is handled by Art Resource (North America) and Scala Archives (all other geographic locations). All requests should be addressed directly to those agencies, which supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.