Howalt Nicolai . Light Break - signed

Hardcover / Graphic design: Rasmus Koch Studio Pages: 256, of which 124 are illustrations, 79 (colour) and 45 (b/w) Size: 27 x 23 x 3 cm / Printers: Narayana Press (DK) Language: English and Danish

Coffee table format artist's book unfolds Danish visual artist Nicolai Howalt's exploration of scientist and physician Niels R. Finsen's original light-therapeutic methods, in spectacular full colour direct photography of invisible light.

Howalt's fascination of Finsen's experiments and apparatus, is based on the obvious similarities between the basic elements of photography and Finsen's medical phototherapy. In both cases, light rays are passed through specially crafted lenses and filters onto photosensitive material. For Finsen (1860-1904), these were people with skin disorders, in the spirit of providing a cure. For Howalt (b. 1970), it is pieces of paper treated with photosensitive emulsion, where the effects of the passage of sunlight directly onto the paper are held and preserved.

Finsen discovered that invisible light rays, at the periphery of the electromagnetic spectrum, had the property to heal. It is these same rays Howalt is interested in, now taking advantage of the sunlight's ability to blacken photographic emulsion. With the use of Finsen's original assembled lenses and coloured quartz filters, Howalt is able to absorb the visible light beams of the sun, allowing the so-called chemical rays of infrared and blue-violet light to slip through. The photosensitive paper is subjected to rays of the sun, one piece at a time, in a large format analogue camera, and then developed. Every single one of these resulting images is therefore neither a reproduction nor a print, as photographs most often are, but instead a unique result created by the sun itself.

"Photography has the ability to automatically give the impression of always

  reproducing what is seen, but here it is almost the opposite. "- NH


Danish poet Morten Søndergaard (b. 1964) contributes with three poems, published here for the first time in their original language Danish and in English translation. Howalt and Søndergaard share a fascination of the power of the sun, of light as both subject and substance and fundamental condition for all life. Two articles, one by Dr. Tania Woloshyn (UK) and the other by Ion Meyer, Medical Museion in Copenhagen, present Howalt's Light Break project to a wider audience, placing Howalt's groundbreakin



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