Light has been an essential means of expression throughout art history, and it became a material in its own right in the early decades of the 20th century and finally coming into its own as a medium for artists by the 1960s. The appeal of light is that it offers shape and form to both objects and space, whilst its waves suggest a dynamic entity.
Brüggemann’s Monuments for the Ceiling series comprises individual works assembled from fluorescent tubes that can be presented as individual sculptures or as an installation. The works refer to the iconic light sculpture series Monument for V.Tatlin (1964-1990) by seminal artist Dan Flavin, which utilises mass-produced fluorescent tubes to evoke Vladimir Tatlin’s unrealised Monument to the Third International (1919). Tatlin’s gigantic steel and glass tower is conjured up by Flavin, not by an object made from standard lightbulbs, but by the effect on the space created by the carefully calibrated luminous projection.
Contrary to Flavin’s work, which is wall-based, Brüggemann displays his lights on the ceiling; by inverting their original position the neon tubes are returned once more to their primary use as industrial light fittings, stressing the disparity between their everyday use and their effect as a monumental sculpture. Moreover, Brüggemann’s reference to an existing work stresses the quotational nature of the conceptual heritage, which is enacted through continuous appropriation.