18 March–22 May 2022


Vibeke Mascini – Ray

Ray (2022), by Vibeke Mascini. Photograph: Tom Janssen.

Update: The battery of this installation has run out a few days ahead of the intended closing date (22 May 2022). Regretfully, this means the work can no longer be viewed.

Artist Vibeke Mascini said: “Working with harnessed electricity adds an unpredictable element to an installation such as RAY, which is intrinsically time-based, and in that sense more like a performance than a sculpture. With every second of shedding its light, the battery has been discharging; projecting its energy into St Catherine’s cathedral and onto its visitors. We always intended for none of RAY’s stored electricity to rest on a shelf after the closing date. Unfortunately, this moment arrived a little sooner than expected.”

Ray, a new installation by Amsterdam-based visual artist Vibeke Mascini, can be seen at St. Catherine’s Cathedral, Utrecht, until 22 May 2022. The work is commissioned by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, as part of the project No Linear Fucking Time and is realized in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht.  

Ray consists of a single projected beam of light, generated by a battery that is partly charged with electricity from excess heat produced at a crematorium. Developed with consent from living relatives, this reservation and redirection of energy serves as a collective memorial in which commemoration, mourning, and renewal are central.   

The project is part of Mascini’s ongoing research on energy transference and investigations into how the vitality of matter in decay, remission, or after death can be turned into a power source. Her previous works Salvage (2019) and Instar (2021) reflect on the incineration of subjects such as a whale’s body and a batch of police-confiscated items. Ray proposes ways to experience the heat produced by the process of cremation consciously, to acknowledge the non-linearity of bereavement and loss, and to offer alternate means by which to grieve and remember.   

Created especially for the space of St. Catherine’s Cathedral, the artwork is in keeping with its architecture: it encourages quiet contemplation. Mascini’s installation then subtly draws attention to the resonances of death and the challenges of contemporary time-based mourning practices. 

Vibeke Mascini is a visual artist and writer. She is a sculpture tutor and research fellow at De Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, The Hague, and artist-in-residence at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2021–2022). Previous teaching positions include Academie van Bouwkunst and Gerrit Rietveld Academie, both in Amsterdam.  

In recent years, her artistic research has focused on historic and futuristic concepts of electricity as a speculative agent of life. Through sculptures, installations, video, and text, Mascini seeks to channel a close understanding of electricity by drawing a direct relation to its source. Her next solo exhibition will be shown at RADIUS Center for Contemporary Art and Ecology, Delft, 2022. She has also collaborated on several publications, including The Dent of Walter Umenhofer (2015). Mascini lives and works in Amsterdam.  

No Linear Fucking Time
Ray is part of No Linear Fucking Time, an exhibition with gatherings, an online publication, and a symposium. The project proposes to unsettle dominant temporalities and model alternate forms of livable time.

Convened by BAK’s curator of public practice Rachael Rakes with artist-interlocutors Femke Herregraven, Jumana Manna, and Claudia Martínez Garay, as well as writer Amelia Groom, 

No Linear Fucking Time calls upon a wide range of practitioners who examine and embody alternate scales, rhythms, and conceptions of temporal experience in order to explore how looking and working beyond linear, progressive, and globally-synchronized time can contribute to a more plurally-determined and sustainable existence. The project posits that just as time has been a homogenizing imperial force, the rethinking of time can be a key function of anti-colonial presents. The practitioners taking part in No Linear Fucking Time engage critical and propositional models of time, through media such as drawing, painting, made and found objects, machines and moving images, and a variety of creative visual and linguistic expressions.  

Practical Information 
Ray can be viewed from 19 March until 22 May 2022 
Address: St. Catherine’s Cathedral, Lange Nieuwstraat 36, 3512 PH, Utrecht  
Viewing times:* 
Wednesday–Friday, 13–17 hrs
Saturday 12–16 hrs
Sunday 14–16 hrs 

*Viewing times are subject to change according to the cathedral’s calendar and activities. Currently, the exhibition can’t be viewed on the following dates:
25 March
15 April
16 April
22 April
27 April
7 May from 13.00 hrs
19 May from 15.30 hrs
20 May

Ray is commissioned by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht as part of the project No Linear Fucking Time (3 December 2021–22 May 2022), realized in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, and housed at St. Catherine’s Cathedral, Utrecht. With thanks to the Catharinaberaad, Sint-Martinusparochie and Diocese of Utrecht. Mascini’s ongoing research is made possible thanks to the generous dialogue and collaboration with funerary expert Babs Bakels, crematory advisers DFW Europe and Hans Struiksma, and Optics Research Group, TUDelft. Ray is the prototype of an ongoing collaboration between the artist and a crematory near Amsterdam.  

The realization of this project has been made possible with the financial support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science; the City of Utrecht; and Stichting Zabawas, The Hague. BAK’s main partner in the field of education and research is HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht.




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