LDF: Installations at the V&A 20.09.16

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Mathieu Lehanneur and Glithero fill two contrasting spaces to mesmerising effect

For their LDF installations, both Mathieu Lehanneur and Glithero have chosen containers at the V&A that amplify the entrancing effects of their works. Lehanneur’s Liquid Marble, an undulating block of blackest marble chosen for its lack of veins, sits in the gilt and glass of a small music room rescued from Norfolk House before its demolition.

Using software developed to mimic catastrophic floods in action films, Lehanneur has ‘tried to catch an element that is not supposed to be caught, to stop the continuous movement of nature and reproduce liquid in solid form’. The complex geometries that result have been laboriously carved in stone by traditional machinery, straining against its usual capacities, then finished by hand. The highly polished surface reflects its intimate surroundings, creating an effect that Lehanneur hopes is ‘quite natural, quite magical, and maybe even spiritual’.

Just down the corridor is Staircase G, where Glithero, known for its explorations of time, has installed the Green Room, a name that refers both to the telescopic six-storey space and to the inside of a barrel wave, as beloved of surfers. Hanging down from a ring suspended from the grand dome at the top are 160 silicon cords, visible from a variety of perspectives on the stairwell.

The cords fall 16m to stop just short of visitors’ heads, and each is on an individual pulley controlled by a central CAM arm that creates a parabolic wave. Co-founder Tim Simpson explains, ‘The cords only move up and down, yet the overall impression is of a turning motion, so the result is mesmerising, with carefully calculated coloured bands flowing and breaking up in a way that’s sympathetic to the space, but also to the time-based nature of the museum itself’.


The Green Room, supported by Italian watch brand Panerai, hangs in Staircase G, hitherto unused at LDF





Above: Liquid Marble by Mathieu Lehanneur, installed in the Norfolk House Music Room


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