Heaven’s Gate is a video installation that was first shown in the stairwell of Felix Meritis in Amsterdam. In other venues the work usually occupies a specially constructed tall, dark room. The video image is projected high up onto a 3m x 4m screen on the ceiling, while on the floor beneath there is a same-sized mirror that can be walked on. Visitors standing on this mirror see both their own reflection and the reflection of the projected image on the ceiling. The otherwise total darkness of the space creates for the viewer a state of visual suspension between the two image planes. It is an immersive and embodied construct that draws the spectator into the virtual space of the imagery and dissolves the boundary between material and immaterial identity.
The conceptual and iconographic references in this work are largely derived from Baroque ceiling paintings and aerial/satellite pictures of the surface of Earth. These images alternate in a computer-processed morphology that deconstructs and manipulates the constituent pixels of the original images and then anamorphically reconfigures them in a virtual three-dimensional space. This digital tromp l'oeil interpolates the awesome contemporary view of planet Earth photographed from space with the ecstatic Baroque gaze up to the heavens, a dizzying axis between an above and below that has lost its qualitative distinction. Other iconographic references in this work further elucidate this vertiginous contraposition, such as the Futurists’ aerial point of view and the spatial apotheoses of El Greco and Piero Manzoni.