Heidi Locher hears the music of hotels in Hotel Kalifornia at Londonewcastle Project Space

By Ben Miller | 15 November 2012
A photo of a still from a film showing a woman in white underwear in a darkened hotel room
The teenager in the film Heidi Locher shot in collaboration with Frederick Paxton as part of new exhibition Hotel Kalifornia© Courtesy Heidi Locher
Exhibition Preview: Heidi Locher – Hotel Kalifornia, Londonewcastle Project Space, London, until November 27 2012
As well as being involved in swanky buildings including the Soho Theatre and the Jerwood Space, fine artist and architect Heidi Locher is a practitioner of Air Architecture, a name for works as concerned with intensity and atmosphere as they are with technical innovation.

Named after the Eagles’ own lament on loneliness and disengagement, this exhibition focuses on a short film examining hidden memories and deep personal anguish, made by Locher with Frederick Paxton.

The hotel in question becomes a portal of memories, with a moment of change seen through the eyes of a child, teenager and adult.

“Hotels are like a musical instrument to me,” says Locher. “They have a certain kind of rhythm.

“I can read them and the people in them and hear their inner workings. I feel I can pick up the vibrations, the intensity and the mood.

“Hotels have a heightened frequency where tensions lurk and rituals are acted out in an extreme atmosphere which is not really like everyday life.”

Those elements are played out through stylized white lighting, slow-motion footage and penetrating detail, with the resulting atmosphere becoming ghost-like and claustrophobic. Hoteliers consumed by the buzzword of ambience would be advised to avoid Locher’s work.

More pictures:

A photo of a woman throwing pillows from the bed of a hotel room under red lights
Child. Film still© Courtesy Heidi Locher
A photo of a darkened hotel room surrounded by white candles and shadows
Mature Woman. Film still© Courtesy Heidi Locher
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