Plato by Siba Sahabi

Bring the allegory of the cave to life

Project Specs


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德国-伊朗艺术家Siba Sahabi在乌特勒支的Le Guess Who?/Uncloud艺术节上展示了一座交互式影子装置。

German-Iranian artist Siba Sahabi launches interactive shadow installation at festival Le Guess Who?/Uncloud in Utrecht

▼装置外观,external view of the installation ©MWA Hart Nibbrig


Sahabi’s newest installation entitled Plato brings the famous allegory of the cave to life. In his allegory Greek philosopher Plato divides our world into reality and delusions that pass for reality. He uses shadow images as a symbol for collective ‘blind spots’ that prevent us from seeing the truth.

▼游客与投影,visitor and the shadow ©MWA Hart Nibbrig


Artist Sahabi explains: ‘The 2.500-years-old allegory has had a huge impact on our culture and is still relevant today. You can compare Plato’s shadow images with the virtual images of the 21st century and ask yourself: How big is the impact of virtual images on our values and norms? And how strongly is our identity shaped by these images?’


The interactive outdoor installation measures 2,6 meters in height and 2,2 meter in width. The artwork consists of an oval-shaped metal frame 3 meters in length. The frame is bent in a 90 degree angle towards the back side, where it holds a big white circle-shaped frame in an upright position. A transparent lens in the center of the white frame continually revolves around its axis at low speed. The lens is illuminated by a theatrical spotlight from the front side of the installation. The light that passes through the lens casts shadow images of the bypassing visitors on a screen positioned behind the installation.

▼装置组成,composition of the installation ©MWA Hart Nibbrig

metal frame and the circle-shaped white frame ©MWA Hart Nibbrig

water-filled acrylic piped in the circular frame ©MWA Hart Nibbrig

▼细部,details ©MWA Hart Nibbrig


‘The unique element of the installation is the lens,’ Sahabi explains. ‘It consists of 39 acrylic tubes, each 4 centimeters in diameter and filled with water, arranged next to each other like organ pipes. Depending on where the light travels through the water- filled tubes, the light waves are refracted and create morphing shadow images of the interacting visitors. This effect is just magical.’

▼灯光透过装置,形成变形的影子,light creating morphing shadow images through the installation ©MWA Hart Nibbrig

由Machinefabriek/ Rutger Zuydervelt为装置专门设计的音景进一步加强了这种超现实体验。装置由艺术家和Creative Coding Utrecht合作开发,邀请游客以游戏的形式感受哲学和艺术之间的关系。这件艺术作品将在2021年10月30日到11月21日之间展示于荷兰乌特勒支的Pieter Baan Centrum。此次快闪展览由Uncloud和Le Guess Who?组织。人们可以在日落后访问这个装置,尽情享受其中的灯光表演。

A specially-commissioned soundscape by Machinefabriek/ Rutger Zuydervelt amplifies the surrealistic experience. The installation that invites the audience to experience the relationship between philosophy and art in a playful way was developed in collaboration with ‘Creative Coding Utrecht’. The artwork is on show at the Pieter Baan Centrum in Utrecht, The Netherlands from 30 October until 21 November 2021. The pop-up museum is organised by the festivals Uncloud and Le Guess Who?. Please visit the installation after sunset to fully enjoy the light show.

▼游客与装置的互动,interactions between the visitors and the installation ©MWA Hart Nibbrig

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