Following his first visit to Las Vegas, Turkish artist Haluk Akakçe formed an impression of the infamous city as a kind of electric painting emerging from the evening desert, a metaphor for his own work. Sky is the Limit, which ran from November 3-30, 2006, became Akakçe’s interpretation of Las Vegas, modeled after his own experience there. Working on the Viva Vision canopy screen—the largest video screen in the world—Akakçe built an electronic sky, a virtual universe in which raindrops seem to land from above, sending ripples throughout the rendered skyscape. For Akakçe “the canopy represent[ed] the limit of perception.” Appropriately, Sky is the Limit also referenced the seemingly unlimited promise that gambling holds out to us, the power to change our destiny, for better or for worse, in the pull of a slot machine lever or the roll of the dice. The work’s narrative crescendoed toward an ecstatic moment evocative of the euphoria of winning, but in fact retained much of the deliberate pacing of Akakçe’s recent pieces. Offering a space out of time in a parallel world, Sky is the Limit fit perfectly in the mirage that is Las Vegas.
This project was produced in partnership with the Las Vegas Arts Commission and Fremont Street Experience.
Video by Matt Wolf courtesy Creative Time. To learn more go to creativetime.org.