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How humble Quaker origins inspire James Turrell’s otherworldly light art

‘Every evening we unfold the light, and every morning, fold it back, to return the blue to the sky.’

The US artist James Turrell has made a career of manipulating light and space, creating ‘new worlds’ that force viewers to confront the fluidity and fallibility of their own visual perception. Born into a conservative Quaker family, Turrell got his start building meeting houses – quiet, simple structures where Quakers are meant to ‘greet the light’. James Turrell: You Who Look is a visual and verbal paean to the artist’s celebrated career, with an emphasis on Roden Crater near Flagstaff in Arizona, a ‘place between the Earth and the cosmos’, a ‘natural-light observatory’ built into an extinct volcano – a work that has been 45 years in the making and is still unfinished.

Director: Jessica Yu

Producer: Izabela Frank

27 April 2017

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