//RESPONSIVE is a new art in public space format, that first took place in Halifax from October 18 to 21, 2017. A series of artworks were installed, scattered around the downtown core. Located both inside and outside, the works was free to the public – after sunset – from 7.00 pm to midnight.

About this project, Artistic Director Bettina Pelz states: “Temporary exhibition formats in public space have a longstanding tradition in the arts. They respond to a world in constant change and have become an essential rendezvous point to display and to discuss contemporary art. Temporary interventions experiment with given situations, existing architectures, sensory perception and allegorical associations. In projects, biennials and festivals with focus on light, they show how architectural ensembles, urban spaces and known sites can become part of an artwork.”

RESPONSIVE is dedicated to the reflected use of light in fine arts. All of the selected artworks use physical light as material, medium or metaphor. In contemporary artistic practices, physical light is used for drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, intervention, and performance. In their research, artists reflect on the interplay of materials and the connotations of their appearances, form and colour, light and shadow, space and time, and all types of phenomenological aspects and their semantic implications. These types of artworks are designed to be dynamic systems of interdependence. They explore the interchange between material aspects and optical properties, the conditions of human perception, and codes of content.

Peter Dykhuis, Director/ Curator of the Dalhousie Art Gallery at Dalhousie University, and Melanie Colosimo, Director/ Curator of the Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems at NSCAD University, are the founding Halifax partners and will work closely with Bettina Pelz and Dr. Ralf Seippel, their curatorial counterparts from Cologne, Germany. Ralf Seippel, the initiator and architect of this initiative, has been developing sustainable art and art mediation projects around the world. Bettina Pelz, in the role of Artistic Director, is a curator with focus on light in fine arts and has founded several international light art projects and has fostered a global research network on light in fine arts. In addition to Peter Dykhuis and Melanie Colosimo, Sarah Fillmore, Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, has joined the curatorial team along with assistance of Jamie MacLellan, Public Art Facilitator for the Halifax Regional Municipality and Christine Macy, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie University, as consultants. The Halifax partners gratefully acknowledge the financial support of RESPONSIVE in 2017 and 2019 by Probst & Partner Investments Ltd of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

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