Polarized site specific


Designmuseum Danmark

Commission exhibition

Photographer: Freya McOmish

Designmuseum Danmark

Site specific piece of POLARIZED PORTRAITS by Kajsa Willner developed especially for the “Matters – Rethinking Materials” exhibition at Design Museum Denmark as part of CHARTs CURIO initiative 19. Curated by Line Ulrika Christiansen and Pernille Stockmarr.

’Polarized portraits’ uses polarized filters to highlight pieces of disposable plastic where the beauty of the optical effects stands in contrast to the environmental consequences of plastic waste.

Polarized Portraits operates by using polarized light to reveal stress patterns in clear plastic, mimicking the function of a polarized light microscope. The project started out in a former collaboration with a material scientist in a project where science met design.

Willners research and exploration of the properties of polarized light – an optical phenomenon that occurs when waves of light oscillate in a single plane – led to experiments with light polarizers and different disposable plastics to play with bending, blocking and transforming light and force interference in the plastic to create various colorful material portraits.

In Polarized Portraits Willner sends polarized light through disposable plastic revealing hidden colors and gradient spectrums to draw attention to the dilemmas surrounding plastic waste. Willner’s work plays with the optical phenomenon of polarized light microscopy to create an imaginative x-ray of planet Earth. The pieces examine how disposable plastic can become aesthetic optical art ‘portraits’ of our world, while remaining environmentally harmful plastic waste.

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