LONDON.- Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
presents an exhibition dedicated to the filmic works of Belgian artist David Claerbout, from 31 May 10 August 2012. The show features key work made since the year 2000. The exhibition is Claerbout's first solo show in a public London gallery.
As one of the most innovative and acclaimed artists of his generation working with moving image, Claerbout has created a striking body of works within which the media of film and photography appear to co-exist.
Claerbout's works often depict some everyday activity or event that seems to be the subject of the work, but as time passes we as viewers face a dilemma in how to decipher the artists intention. The works not only alter our established understanding of time and the narrative process but also our notions of reality, illusion, and the relationship between them.
The exhibition opens with Orchestra, 2011. Viewers enter a darkened room only to find that they themselves are the focus of attention, both of the conductor and of the audience within the work. This reversal of the norm tends to create a moment of suspended silence.
Bordeaux Piece, 2004, at almost 14-hours long, is an epic film for which the same scene was played by three actors and filmed repeatedly at 10-minute intervals throughout a day, from 5.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. As the daylight changes, the repetition diminishes the impact of the drama until it becomes merely, as Claerbout says, a motif lending rhythm to the real issue
which is to give form to duration by means of natural light.
The final projection on the ground floor, The Algiers Section of a Happy Moment, 2008, is set on a small soccer pitch on the roof of the Casbah in Algiers and reflects on what Claerbout terms the suspicious gaze.
In the upper gallery, The Quiet Shore, 2011, shows a beach in Brittany at low tide. In the special and fleeting moments of twilight the smooth, wet, mirror-like surface of the sand reflects the world around it. Finally, in Sunrise, 2009, the almost magical scenes show a maid going quietly about her chores in pre-dawn darkness. Towards the end of the film a glorious piece of music by Rachmaninov accompanies and celebrates her journey into daylight.
David Claerbout (1969) currently lives and works in Antwerp and Berlin. Recent years have seen his work honoured with prizes and numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and North America. Recent shows include a retrospective at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Belgium, and the touring exhibition The Shape of Time, which travelled between 2007 and 2009 to the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts; the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland; the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; and the De Pont Museum for Contemporary Art, Netherlands. He currently lives and works in Antwerp and Berlin.