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Margareta Hesse : TOUCH THE LIGHT – International light art | 17.06.-17.09.2023

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The Centre for International Light Art (ZfIL) is dedicating its next special exhibition Touch the Light to the laser works of Margareta Hesse. Inspired by the influence of light on her paintings and works made of semi-transparent polyester panels, the Berlin-based artist has been developing room-filling installations of red laser light since 2008.

Img. above: Margareta Hesse, Lightwave, 2022, approx. 3.2 x 7.5 x 5.2 m, laser equipment, deflecting mirror, sound laser installation Böhmische Brauerei, Berlin 2022, © Margareta Hesse, Photo: Margareta Hesse

A gossamer mist pervades the dark cellar vaults of the ZfIL, red lines of light stretch from the walls like ropes. A network of brightly shining light barriers is created. Margareta Hesse transforms the existing rooms into an overwhelming world of experience and plays with the effect of her light sculptures. No way leads past her works, they demand to be explored and conquered. In Lichtfalle, the frame created by the lasers extends only just above the floor, the knee-high light hurdle can simply be crossed or walked through. Light Wave, on the other hand, allows the viewer to be completely immersed. Like a wave of water, the light levels slowly rise and pile up. Suddenly, one finds oneself in a space of light, which only dissolves again when the laser beams touch it, and so the visitors have to become active in order to free themselves. Hesse breaks the strict pattern of fixed lines with her installation Irrlichter. Robots equipped with lasers move uncontrollably across the floor in a swarm. A dynamic course of lasers and whirring machines confronts the visitors. Only the fog makes the beams appear haptic and object-like and suggests the possibility of a tactile experience. The red lasers open up a variety of associations, such as the danger of burning oneself, overcoming a barrier and science fiction adventures. With technical precision, Hesse creates sculptures of light that want to be explored and experienced.

Margareta Hesse, Light Trap III and Light Wave, 2023/ 2022, laser devices, deflecting mirror, sound, laser installation Centre for International, Light Art, Unna 2023, © Margareta Hesse, Photo: Margareta Hesse

Margareta Hesse
(*1956, Duderstadt) taught at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts from 1995-2022 as a professor in the fields of basic artistic design, illustration and light art projects. Light is a determining element in her oeuvre. With her translucent polyester works, object and laser installations, Hesse is represented in solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad. Her works are part of numerous collections such as: Museum für Kommunikation in Frankfurt a. M., Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg in Halle, Kunstmuseum Celle, the art collection of the WGZ-Bank in Düsseldorf, the Ministry of Culture Düsseldorf, the art collection of the Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt a. M., Museum Siegburg, Kunstmuseum Ahlen.

Margareta Hesse, Light Trap III, 2023, laser devices, deflecting mirror, sound laser installation Centre for International, Light Art, Unna 2023, © Margareta Hesse, Photo: Margareta Hesse

Centre for International Light Art
Since its foundation in 2001, the ZfIL in Unna has been showing a diverse exhibition programme in the vaults of the former Linden Brewery and has a top-class permanent exhibition with its own collection of international light art. In its specific orientation, the ZfIL is the first and only museum in the world to focus exclusively on the presentation of light art. From the very beginning, pioneering positions have been brought together and site-specific, immersive exhibition worlds have been created.


Lindenpl. 1
59423 Unna


Press tour: 16 June 2023, 11 a.m. | the artist is present

Exhibition dates: Saturday, 17 June until Sunday, 17 September

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