Negative Space



A closed and misty dark room, punctually lit by luminous white tubes, simulates an endless corridor. Enveloped by a sound ambiance in resonance with the strong black/white contrasts, the spectator gropes his way through this ambiguous and vaporous space, giving him the sensation of crossing doors of light.

The intermittent light, based on patterns, (de)constructs an unreal space. The work relies on the phenomenon of retinal persistence and on the law of simultaneous color contrast, where the negative / positive simulates a movement and the effects of transparency and opacity cause a loss of spatial references.

© Olivier Ratsi

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Olivier Ratsi (FRA)

French visual artist. Lives and works in Grand Paris. Olivier Ratsi (b.1972) creates site-specific art and immersive installations using light and mapping video projections. In his work he explores reality, time, space and matter as a series of intangible informative notions. Focusing on the experience of reality and its representations, as well as the perception of space, he conceives works that encourage the viewer to question their own interpretation of what is real.

Ratsi’s works are not specifically aimed to unleash emotions or to perturb the senses, but rather to work as a catalyst for different points of view and cultural and psychological references. As part of his process, Ratsi creates systems that deconstruct spatio-temporal reference points. Fascinated with the vanishing point and the role of optical perspective in the history of art, from his meticulous studies of spatial representation, combined with technical and scientific knowledge, Ratsi is able to understand and distort the perception of space: “I override perspective conventions in order to break with the ‘normality’ in front of us — that which seems obvious at first glance. Challenging perspective allows me to ask questions on many different levels about our own perceptions.”

Ratsi is known as one of the co-founders and former member of the artist collective AntiVJ. Now working as a solo artist, he has had solo and group exhibitions around the world, including at Denise René Gallery and Charlot Gallery, Paris, FR; Atsuko gallery, Tokyo, JP; Puerta Roja, Hong Kong, HK; and Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, US. His works have been exhibited in museums including OCT Museum, Shanghai, CN; K11 Art Village, Wuhan, CN; D-Museum, Seoul, KR; and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung,TW. His works have been presented at numerous festivals and events including Elektra, Mutek and International Digital Arts Biennial, Montreal, CA; Biennale Némo, Mirage and Bains Numériques, FR.

Credits & mentions

Immersive light installation (21 elements, aluminium, paint, LED, computer, sound, fog, 2021 – 12 x 4,6 x 4 m).

Conception, realization, sound creation : Olivier Ratsi.

Original creation from the exhibition Heureux soient les fêlés, car ils laisseront passer la lumière, Monographic exhibition 2021 / Paris, France.
Curator: Jos Auzende for the Gaité Lyrique.

Executive production: Crossed Lab.

Re-adapted creation realized in coproduction with the platform CHRONIQUES CREATIONS, supported by the DRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the City of Marseille and the French Institute in Paris.

Partner : Lieux Publics.