Liddy Scheffknecht

Shadow Projector / Light 2017


Venue: Schullin jeweller’s shop, Herrengasse 3, passage to courtyard, after business hours


The life-size shadow of a man stands in the passage of the Gemaltes Haus, only his shopping bag moves slightly on closer inspection. It remains unclear where the associated person is until a light apparatus strikes the eye that has been set up in the window of the jeweller’s shop. The apparatus deals with the theme of light with its counterpart, the shadow that is created artificially with elaborate means. The round turntable moves a row of figures through the beam of an LED spotlight, the rapid sequence creating the illusion of movement. While similar to a zoetrope, a machine from the early days of cinema, its mode of functioning is slightly different.

The minuscule swinging of the bag is the result of the natural inertia of the human eye. A computer-animated graphic (GIF) could create the same effect, but in this case the shadow image is generated by analogue, mechanical means in the shop’s window. One can watch it being created. The apparatus is fascinating and installed for our perception like a little jewel or rather a cultural abutment in the age of computers.

The mural on the Gemaltes Haus was done by baroque painter Johann Mayer in 1742 and depicts various deities from Greek mythology on 220sqm of façade.


Liddy Scheffknecht, born in Dornbirn in 1980, lives in Vienna.

Art in Public Space

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