Color Balance

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg © Photo: Iris Ranzinger

Morgan Fisher

Color Balance, 1980

Filminstallation (reconstructed 2002) 3 films, 16mm, color, silent, 5 min each (loops) Edition 2/10 + 1 A.P.


Artwork text

"Color Balance" is a film performance, an abstract play with light based on the principle that “the whole is more than sum of its parts.” As the artist and experimental filmmaker Morgan Fisher puts it, his installation is meant to “liberate colors from their servitude.” Unlike a conventional film, the installation consists not of a single length of footage but of three film strips that are projected atop one another. Only in the interplay between the projections does the intended image emerge. The starting material was a white table-tennis ball balancing on an air column that was recorded before a black wall. In the laboratory, the image was exposed using three different color filters. In the installation, three 16mm projectors cast the image of the bobbing ball on the screen, but at different replay speeds. The cones of light are in constant motion, overlapping in ever-shifting constellations that continually yield new negative colors: red and green blend to produce yellow; red and blue, magenta; blue and green, cyan. Where all three beams coincide simultaneously, these hues disappear, fusing into white—the original color of the ball. (Jürgen Tabor)