Spencer Finch, Moonlight, Luna County, New Mexico
Moonlight (Luna Country, New Mexico, July 13, 2003)

Representation always infers a distance from, and difference to the referent, and difference and distance are what Finch’s light installations slowly underline. Though the viewers might initially look at the glow hitting the walls around them and be impressed by the accuracy of Finch’s representation of a faraway light, they will inevitably cast their eyes upon the dumb materials which emit or filter it – the fluorescent tubes, the individual bits of colored plastics, the tape and clothes pegs that hold everything together, and so on. Unlike James Turrell, or even Dan Flavin, who occasionally pointed some tubes towards the wall to conceal the exact colors he used, Finch will never hide his materials, and by making them so self-evident, he allows his illusions to fall apart even as they are created. Attending to the literal materials of Finch’s installations, viewers recall that they are in the interior of a gallery in a nondescript building in a city far away from the initial location. This is not the fleeting violet of a Troy dawn, nor the shadow on a bright snowy day at Giverny, but a crude and static technological recreation, albeit an accurate one.

Excerpt from Mark Godfrey, Parkett No. 79, pp. 14-19, 2007.