To enter Akhob, the walk-in light installation created by James Turrell for Louis Vuitton, is to experience the mind-bending Ganzfeld effect. A mild form of sensory deprivation, it is caused by exposure to an unstructured, uniform stimulus – in this case, a field of colored light.
Turrell has created several Ganzfeld pieces in the past, but Akhob is the largest to date. The work’s title derives from an Egyptian term for “pure water.” One enters two illuminated chambers, the second of which is a light-filled void of indeterminate size. Only a few people are admitted to the installation at once.
James Turrell has famously explored the effects of light on human perception; the artist celebrates the power of light to affect the spectator’s eye, body and mind, and to heighten awareness.
Akhob is the latest of three James Turrell installations commissioned by Louis Vuitton. The work will be on view from May 2013, just prior to concurrent exhibitions of Turrell’s work to be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.