Carlo Bernardini’s Light Waves made visible to the public

In the wake of the experience with Stephen Antonakos’s “Orizzonte” at the Karol Wojtyla Airport in Bari, Aeroporti di Puglia has enhanced the value of the newly revamped Brindisi passenger terminal with a permanent art installation. The choice fell on “Light Waves” by visual artist Carlo Bernardini, which stands out in the check-in hall of the Messapica terminal.

 “Light Waves” is a 3D site-specific audiovisual light installation that stems from the idea to generate an impalpable impulse of the overall space, thereby changing the perception of the place. Light Waves consists of four laminated glass and optical fibre prisms, which rise from the ground to the ceiling, and an environmental audiovisual projection of the sea on the floor along the entire length at the base of the prisms. The work, initially designed as an environmental installation of luminous prismatic towers, embeds the two architectural pillars next to the wall involved, which are also transformed into prisms with a scalene pentagonal base, an optical fibre visual structure, and a laminated glass external covering.

The abstract crashing of sea waves is projected with their audio effect on the lower end of the glass and on the floor at the base of the artwork, which is made of a series of juxtaposed Lecce stone slabs (to recall the local territory). This projection transforms the space in which the prisms are located by creating a visual floating effect, enhanced by the audio effect of the rough sea. The glass and optical fibre prisms create a set of lines and light points disseminated in the internal structures, which interact with each other, serving as a light catalyst, an essential element of the visual language.
By manifesting in a well-lighted room, such as a passenger terminal, the audiovisual medium creates some sort of crystallised space through the light transparency of the sea waves projected on the floor and the glass of the prisms with their optical fibre architectural lighting structures. The audio effect of the waves is emitted by the 360° spherical amplifiers under the video projectors, which are located in front of the artwork near the ceiling. 
The optical fibre technology allows for new and improved aesthetic and functional use of the area, in a harmonious and non-invasive dialogue with the setting. 
The transparency of the images of the waves on the sculptures and of the prismatic shapes on the video projection creates an impalpable impulse of the entire place.

The artist

Carlo BERNARDINI was born in Viterbo in 1966. He lives and works between Rome and Milan. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome in 1987. In 1997, he wrote a theoretical essay on the Division of Visual Unity published by Stampa Alternativa. A two-time winner of the Overseas Grantee Award of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation of New York (2000 and 2005), he also won the Targetti Art Light Collection White Sculpture award in 2002. He currently teaches Multimedia Installations at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. Carlo Bernardini focuses on the dialectical relationship between line and monochrome as different moments of the figurative representation of space and light. 

His meticulous abstraction is the result of his research on the element of the line to conquer its essence, as if to trace the invisible.

Today, his visual research focuses on the perceptive transformation of space through works balanced between sculpture and installation. His environmental installations, made with optical fibres and electroluminescent surfaces, create an incorporeal yet visible mental architectural light space, which completely changes the purpose and structure of the actual environment. Light creates a drawing in space that changes according to the viewer’s point of view and movements. This way, the viewer almost has the feeling to live inside the work.

He has created permanent stainless steel and optical fibre public sculptures in several cities across Italy. In 2003, he made the large temporary sculptures unveiled in Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome for the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. He created large exterior optical fibre environmental installations for the “2000 Anni Luce” exhibition at the S. Domenico Cloisters in Reggio Emilia, the “Accordi di Luce” exhibition in the corner between Via Fiume and Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, and for “Luci di Ancona” in Piazza Cavour, Ancona.
His recent solo exhibitions include

  • 1998: “Accordi di Luce” Galleria Nazionale della Pilotta, Parma;
  • 1999: Galleria Spaziotemporaneo, Milan ; Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea, La Sapienza University, Rome; “Light” Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok (Poland); 2000: Galleria L’Isola, Trento; 2001: Galleria Fioretto, Padua;
  • 2002: Sculpture Space, Utica, New York;
  • 2003: Galleria del Naviglio, Milan; Galleria Spaziotemporaneo, Milan;
  • 2004: Museo Passo Imperiale, “Espaço permeável 2004”, Rio De Janeiro; Galleria Milano, Milan; Galleria Bruna Soletti, Milan; Galleria Spazia, Bologna;
  • 2005: Galleria Les Chances de l’Art, Bolzano; Il Sole Arte Contemporanea, Rome; Velan Centro Arte Contemporanea, Turin;
  • 2006: Galleria Milly Pozzi, Como; 2007: Swing Space, LMCC, New York.

His main collective exhibitions include

  • 1992: “Giovani Artisti a Roma 4”, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome;
  • 1996: 12th Quadrennial: Italy, 1950-1990, The Latest Generations, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome;
  • 1997: “Arte a Roma” Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome;
  • 1998: “Nuove Contaminazioni” Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Udine;
  • 1999: “Translacje” Collection De La Fin Du Siecle, Piotrkow Trybunalsky (Poland);
  • 2000: “2000 Anni Luce” Galleria Parmiggiani, Reggio Emilia; “Thai – Italian Art Space 2000” Art Gallery Silpakorn University, Bangkok;
  • 2001: “Oriente d’Occidente” Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale, Rome; “Glimmers” Inner Spaces Multimedia, Poznan (Poland); “InPressione” Bovisa, Officine del gas AEM, Milan;
  • 2002: “Light Accords-East of West” Nacional Gallery of Contemporary Art, Bangkok; XX Triennale di Milano, “Le città In/visibili”, Palazzo della Triennale, Milan;
  • 2003: “Targetti Art Light Collection” Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Varsavia, Chelsea Art Museum, New York; “Anteprima” XIV Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte, Palazzo Reale, Napoli; “Enter Invito al Futuro” Premio Casoli – Galleria Spazia, Bologna; 2004: Barbara Behan Gallery, London; “Lumen” Galleria Fioretto, Padua;
  • 2005: “FiloLuce” Museo della Permanente, Milan; “Fontana e la sua eredità” Palazzo Pirocchi, Castelbasso (TE); “56° Premio Michetti” Museo Michetti, Francavilla al mare (CH); Sculpture Now, “Sculpture in the Public Arena 2005/06”, Main Street, Great Barrington, (Massachusetts USA);
  • 2006 “Filophilo”, Hotel de ville de Montrouge, Paris; “Targetti Art Light Collection”, “White Sculpture”, MUAR, Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow; “Light On”, Artiscope, Brussels;
  • 2007: “Come Along to the Future”, Vychodoslovenská Galéria, Kosice (Slovakia); “Energy” Villa Ottello Savorgnan, Ariis di Rivignano; “International Light Workshop”, Gallery A22, Budapest; 2008 “Digital Media”, LA NAU – Universidad de Valencia, Valencia; “Drawing all over – the power of the line”, Kunstverein KISS Kunst im Schloss Untergröningen Temporares Museum, Abtsgmünd Untergröningen (Stuttgart); Bienal Internacional da Luz, “Waterfront”, Lisbon.