For Georges Didi-Huberman, artist James Turrell is an inventor of impossible spaces and unthinkable sites, of aporias, of fables. Creator of some of the most fascinating works of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, Turrell uses as his medium the most elemental material of sight and art: light. One crucial aspect of his work is the fabulation of place and vision with its foundation deep in history.
Didi-Huberman takes the reader on a journey between the impossible limit of the horizon and the arrival into a site of reverie and light, from the story of Exodus to the Pala d’Oro of San Marco’s Basilica in Venice, through art history and the origins of religious worship, finally plunging into Turrell’s cadmium dust and light, into the Painted Desert of his installation Roden Crater. For the esteemed art historian, Turrell’s artistic practice becomes the equivalent of walking along endless pathways in the desert, in “minuscule cathedrals where man discovers himself walking in color.”