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Skyspace Third Breath

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The transformation from day to night and night to day is like breath. Taking on lightness or darkness and each time giving out the converse. It determines that happenings during the day, and our perceptions, are contrary to those of the night. Twilight marks the transition from one phase to the other. Alongside daylight and night, this for James Turrell is the “Third Breath”. 

 Unlike traditional Skyspaces, the entrance to Third Breath is a cube-shaped camera obscura room. The light reaches the room focused by a lens in the floor of the circular Skyspace room above it, projected downwards as an image of the sky. Here, during the day, the shadows of the passing clouds and birds float across the floor. Stairs connect the camera obscura room with the Skyspace – the room in which the images become reality. 

 At twilight, the perception changes very gradually. An LED lighting system above the seats illuminates the open, arched roof and immerses it in a sea of colours. The sky becomes a circular plane of colour that appears to be part of the room. Imperceptibly, its colours change, occasionally appearing even black and white. Watching becomes an act of meditation and the observer begins to perceive the light differently. Just like the sky. In this case, the sky above Unna.