Dark Spaces

The front gallery leading from the street into the Dark Spaces at the back of the gallery.

Dark Spaces

Dark Gallery CPH has 4 exhibition spaces. The front gallery with natural light and 3 Dark Spaces.

The gallery requires artists and photographers exhibiting in the Dark Spaces to consider the role of natural and artificial lighting in their exhibitions and to involve their audiences in the artistic exercise of light discovery.

The Dark Spaces are dedicated to exhibitions that aim to be explorative, interactive and involving. Exhibitions where the lighting is a performative part of the storytelling.

The Dark Spaces concept has been developed by artist and photographer Kim Wyon.


Dark Spaces


Dark Space 1

A former bathroom complete with tiles, toilet and shower. The default lighting is fluorescent.

Dark Space 1 with projection by Erika Matsunami, SKIN exhibition, 2023



The corridor mediates the open street-facing gallery with the backroom Dark Spaces. The walls are anthracite grey as in the front gallery. There is no artificial lighting.


Dark Space 2

The backroom has white walls, anthracite grey ceiling and default LED spot illumination. A blackout curtain at the door space ensures complete control of lighting.

Dark Space 2 with projector installation by Andreas Olesen, SKIN exhibition, 2023



Other lighting concepts in the Dark Spaces in recent exhibitions have included:

Flickering match light

Visitors to the 2021 exhibition entitled NARCISSUS og de syge myter/ MYTHS BY MATCH LIGHT were handed a box of matches as they entered the gallery. The matches were their primary light source. A narrow crack of daylight was their secondary source. A small fan created a slight air current. The exhibition offered a photographic exploration of the Greek myths that lend their name to modern-day psychiatric diagnoses. The flickering match light and the stench of sulphur from the matches added to the grotto-like Oracle of Delphi experience, enhancing the sense of imbalance, fragility and volatility of the artistic subject-matter. NARCISSUS og de syge myter/ MYTHS BY MATCH LIGHT was part of the Golden Days Festival ANTIKKEN.

Darkroom safelight

Several exhibitions in the Dark Spaces have been bathed in darkroom safelight, which is the red light used during the processing of analogue photography in darkrooms. The lighting offers an authentic impression of how images emerge on photo paper and furthermore distorts the viewer’s perception of the colour tone of artificial light. When passing Dark Space 1 as they exit Dark Space 2, visitors perceived the tone of the artificial light in Dark Room 1 radically different than when entering the Dark Spaces. No lighting had been changed. This was simply the natural effect of the eye growing accustomed to red light. Most visitors see the colour change as going from white to green, others to beige, yellow or yellowish green. Among the exhibitions featured in darkroom safelight was I HAVE A CROWN, I AM A QUEEN, which was part of the 2022 Golden Days Festival, QUEENS.

Smartphone flashlight

Several exhibitions in the Dark Spaces have required visitors to use the flashlight of their smartphone as sole light sources. The flashlight experience provides a harrowing sense of being confronted with mugshots. Visitors also share a sense of illicit discovery. When several visitors enter the Dark Space simultaneously, the intersecting flicker of flashlights creates a stark shadow play and sense of sudden revelation. What qualifies flashlight lighting is the stark contrast it offers to the subtle media of silver-gelatine print.