Chancing the Circle 1999
The Pantheon Rome
Time 7.30am on 15 May
I entered the building and installed the circular mirror; the direct beam of light was obscured by cloud; rain followed yet stopped within 15 minutes and the sun returned: the work would feature both sun and rain.
The Temple is illuminated solely by the passage of natural light through the oculus or aperture in the centre of the roof. It is unique in being the largest circular dome of unreinforced concrete in the world. The interior is brought to life by one uninterrupted beam of light; there is a tangible sense of being outside when inside. The special quality in the relationship between the interior and the directness of the source of light by which it is experienced belie the fact that the building has been standing for nearly two thousand years. This giant enclosure challenges the boundary between sculpture and architecture. I interpret this building as a tiny man-made planet within which the sun rotates and by bringing the exterior and interior worlds together in one image, I attempted to demonstrate how standard notions of time can be extended if not replaced by exerting a consciousness of place in space.