|Jan Dibbets's altered photographs show the encounter between light and structure, more precisely the passage of dispersive light through the structuring influence of an architectural element, most frequently a window. Initially conceived as a slide projection, The Shortest Day at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven consists of eight rows of ten photographs, shot at ten-minute intervals through a window of the museum, registering the winter solstice from the dimmest light of sunrise to the end of sunset. This serial format records the passage of time as well as light, while the viewer's position is inverted from that of one who comes into a museum to see what is inside to that of one who comes inside to see what is outside.
The Shortest Day at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. 1970.
Color photographs mounted on aluminum, 69 3/4 x 67 3/8" (177 x 171 cm). Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Photo: Intercolor, courtesy Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven