‘Dark Matter’, Jonathan Turner‘ digital film homage to painter Pierre Soulages, you get to experience how the famous artist’s all black paintings play with light. By using only black paint (below), according to NOWNESS,
the oft-namedropped nonagenarian artist manipulates the spectrum of light bouncing off the surfaces of his works, in turn conceiving a new shade of his own, ‘outrenoir’(meaning: “beyond black”), which in turn inspired New York-based visual artist + director Jonathan Turner to create his unique tribute to Soulages.
Scored by the hauntingly ferocious beats of Dutch E. Germ with his ‘Nine’, Turner’s digital world was to reflect Soulages view about ‘depicting an architecture that you don’t see’. So by using Soulages’ process of using light as his primary medium as a starting point, Turner told NOWNESS, ‘I thought about architecture where there is no diffuse light, only specular light, which can only be seen at the angle of reflection with the eye. So, like Soulages, I would have to create an environment for receiving light as opposed to creating a space + then illuminating it diffusely.’
NOWNESS asked Turner what term could be used for the format of the film, which most might see as animation but he disagreed saying,’I guess you could file it under ‘animation’ but I don’t really see it that way. In an ideal world I would recreate everything with physical sets or environments. This piece is almost more like photography because I’m dealing with the scientific physical properties of reality as opposed to a more stylized traditional abstraction of life through animation,’ which is most evident towards the end of the film. But as artificial as the different ‘black’ colors created by Soulages, this artificial environment created by Turner could not look or feel more real.