Idomeneus, King of Crete, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1998; d: Sergio Vela)

Earth to Luna

“Any image is light, only light”: the statement, made a couple of years ago in an interview for The Scenographer magazine (which can be read here), comes from Mexican set, lighting and costume designer Alejandro Luna, a living legend in Mexican stagecraft, the creator of dozens of theatre and opera productions around the world and an accomplice to celebrated directors such as José Caballero, Benjamín Cann, Julio Castillo, Hugo Hiriart, Ludwik Margules, Héctor Mendoza, Luis de Tavira and Sergio Vela.

Throughout six decades, Luna’s scenic designs have redefined the notion of space through an at once intelligent and dramatic conception of the use of light:

According to how the light will be, so will be the space. In visual terms the space begins to exist from the light. So, I cannot distinguish between stage designing and lighting. When I talk about stage design I am talking about light reflected off surfaces, garments, objects. Designing both comes from a single impulse. If you turn off the light there is no image. And this something that is so obvious that we tend to forget it. We come into the world within space and surrounded by light and we live without needing to think about it but if we aspire to make space and light into a language or a fundamental part of a language then it is necessary to be conscious of it. I think that learning to illuminate implies unlearning the way in which we are used to looking and begin to see everything in terms of light, of intensity, of blending, of direction and of colour. To always see how a face receives the light reflected from the floor, or the colour that dominates to the right if the wall is blue and to distinguish the temperature of the light sources.

Alejandro Luna, interview with The Scenographer, 2017

Alejandro Luna’s scenic work is one of the inspirations for CORE‘s interior design, where every space is conceived as a stage that will come to life through the presence of the actors occupying it, that is its dwellers. Like him, we believe that, when projecting a space, light is everything:

We also know that matter is not seen until it is touched by light; we know too that light is invisible until matter reflects it onto our eye. Space is dependent on light, on its intensity, on its direction, on its temperature. However the light is, that is how the space will be. Light and space are consubstantial.

Alejandro Luna, interview with The Scenographer, 2017

Your space is the stage for a play telling your own touching, unique story. Let there be shadow in it. And let there be light.

More on Alejandro Luna:

Cátedra Bergman: Alejandro Luna, documentary produced by tv unam (in Spanish):