Day for Night for Day
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On Beverly Boulevard, White has created a sculpture composed entirely of light. Over 900 unique pieces of hand-shaped neon covers the five-story expanse of the wall, each piece keyed to the perceptual temperature in the daylight spectrum. Although technically an all-white monochrome the different temperatures create hues of pale pinks, peaches, blues, and yellows that play across the wall in a random pattern of lines, curves, and shapes derived from an ornamental rug. It’s a kind of magic carpet. The enclosed volume of space, illuminated day and night, is effectively an enormous SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp, absurdly and wittily augmenting the constant sunshine of Los Angeles.
Once prevalent in Los Angeles—and potently evocative of the glamour of Hollywood the place, and the Hollywood of movies—neon is now used less and less. White pays tribute to its glow and its attendant light effects, its nostalgia. The title of the artwork, for instance, references the cinematic technique of “day for night,” that is, the simulation of night filmed in daylight. Like neon, this technique is now mostly outmoded, replaced by newer technologies. As well, the repetition of words in the title Day for Night for Day creates a metaphorical loop, pointing to the circuit of the up and down escalators, the eternal return of the sun, and of course, the redundancy of daylight spectrum neon in the land of sunshine.