Ann Veronica Janssens Interview: Creating an Optical Illusion


Acclaimed Belgian artist Ann Veronica Janssens works with uncatchable materials such as liquids, light and colour. In dialogue with Professor in Physics Kristine Niss, Janssens demonstrates a fascinating trick of the mind, where a coloured surface of liquid rises from the bottom as in one of her works.

‘Golden Dream’ (2011-15) consists of a glass aquarium placed on a base and filled with a transparent liquid: “And on the surface of this transparent liquid, you see a colour appearing, a gold colour,” Janssens says. This golden colour, she continues, is “the result of a physical phenomenon with the light.” Janssens goes on to demonstrate how the illusion of colour rising to the surface is created, adding that it’s really about perception – and about questioning perception. Furthermore, Janssens, who does not work with the so-called noble materials (such as bronze or marble), explains why she is not interested in giving her project a material existence: “The beauty is also in this kind of fragility.”

Ann Veronica Janssens (b. 1956) creates installations, projections, immersive environments, urban interventions, and sculptures that explore the sensory experience of reality. Her work has been shown at the Lyon Biennale, France, the 48th Venice Biennale, Italy, at the Hayward Gallery and Tate Modern in London, UK, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, USA and at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. She lives and works in Belgium.

Ann Veronica Janssens was interviewed by Christian Lund at her studio in Bruxelles, Belgium in connection to the exhibition ‘Hot Pink Turquoise’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark in January 2020.

Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard

Edited by Rasmus Quistgaard

Produced by Christian Lund

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2020

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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