MIOSIS references the former Neue Berliner Sternwarte, which stood in close proximity to the current Projektor location. The rapid growth of Berlin towards the end of the 19th century made observation activities nearly impossible due to the increasing ambient light. In 1913, the observatory relocated to Potsdam, where it stands today as part of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam.
Numerous historical celestial photographs* rest in the astronomical archives of the institute. These fragile glass plates are not only of scientific interest but also poignant artifacts of a millennia-old longing to perceive the universe - initially with the naked eye and later with the aid of technical instruments - to comprehend our position in this cosmos.
Inspired by the historically rich context of the exhibition venue, Leonid Keller’s installation MIOSIS addresses the visibility of the night sky and invites us to reflect on its impact on our sense of place and cultural structures. In this context, MIOSIS simultaneously explores the growing invisibility of the night sky in nearly all regions of the Earth. This results from glare and artificial light that is reflected into the night sky, illuminating it.
*All the motifs in the exhibition are part of the APPLAUSE (Archives of Photographic PLates for Astronomical USE ) glass-plate archive, which was created in a collaboration between four German institutes (including the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, AIP) in the project ‘Digitization of Astronomical Photographic Plates’ funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). www.plate-archive.org.
Installation view, inside
Risographs from historical celestial photographs*
installation view, outside.
Fluorescent tube, frosted glass foil, steel engraving, LED ticker
100 x 250 x 50 cm
Risographs, 35 x 45 cm (framed), 2023
Pine, brass, museum glass
Various telescopes and dates
Object: Orion Nebula
Object: Calibration Field
Object: Orion Belt
Miosis, 2023 (front)
Miosis, 2023 (back)
It is stories and beliefs. The eternal nature of the soul, the divine light, the omen, the twelve disciples, they move through life as creatures, as characters, as hunters, as queens, as gods, as three kings. It’s movement is direction. As cycle, as order, as time and age it is rhythym and sense of place. It is philosophy. As ancestor, as name, as mother, as death and resurrection it is religion. it is myth. It is beginning.