|Installation shots, poster with Pernille's call for clocks, and Vici Macdonald's widely admired catalogue design|
The fourteen artists in this exhibition all make work which explores how different timescales can operate simultaneously in an artwork, leaving us to deduce their purposes. They operate in four main ways:
- building more than one timescale into an image; Bennett, Hornby, Hudson, Marin
- the strategy of ‘recreating’ one time in another; Buskova, d’Arcimoles
- building the representation of time into a work; Niederberger, Holm Mercer, Collins, Gill, Charalambous, Thompsett
- making visible the time which passes in the making of the work Smykla, Neelova
Emma Bennett’s classically-styled oils fan out from the present to bring several timeframes into a stilled coherence: motifs sourced from 18th century paintings, abstract expressionist spills (made by moving around furniture polish on the canvas, which she manipulates on the floor), and the black void – of the future, perhaps – through which a bizarre yet art-historically linked conjunction falls in in Thief of Time. The title is from Dylan Thomas ('Grief thief of time crawls off / The moon-drawn grave, with the seafaring years'...). She has recently added fire and cascading water to her repertoire of fruit, flowers, birds and boats: transformative elements which add to the ambiguous balance always present in her explorations of mortality and transience.
Andy Charalambous, originally trained as a physicist and engineer, and worked at CERN for some years, brings that background to bear in his installation. Tic-Toc puts human time and its implied subjectivity into direct interaction with scientific time and its supposed objectivity. He has made a kinetic piece, consisting of a plinth, on which there is a horizontal slice of a tree trunk. Sitting on the centre of this trunk is an hourglass filled with the artist’s blood (he persuaded the hospital at which he gives blood regularly to take a little extra by convincing them that, if they didn't, he would adopt amateur methods). The hourglass, heart-height and driven by a visible motor, rotates every two minutes – often enough, he says, that you’ll see it, rarely enough that you’ll still be surprised.
|Clarisse d’Arcimoles: Naddy Photomaton (My grandmother)|
|Alex Hudson: Blue Pool, 2013|
Anyone who’s ever felt stranded on their own out-of-synch island of time will connect with Pernille Holm Mercer’s presentation of clusters of alarm clocks – Retro Race - hovering just above the floor and set up to race each other. Thus, underlying differences in their accuracy will come to the fore over the period of the show, illustrating thereby one aspect of time’s subjectivity. The 24 islands - half mousemat, half tropical jungle, fully aware of their tackiness - each contain a threat of sorts, though it’s not clear whether that’s by reference to bomb-making devices or simply the danger of being woken up BIG time…
Russian-born Nika Neelova has moved countries every five years of her 25. That feels germane to her creation of sculptures which derive from selected past and hypothetical future narratives, referencing the disillusionment of a future in which this present shifts into a state of disrepair. Architecture, as she says, ‘outlives its creators and those who have inhabited it, so a sense of commemoration is built into it’. Her sculpture The Principles of Infinity uses the banisters from a flight of stairs from demolished houses, polished by the many hands of former inhabitants. Neelova says she’s aiming to show Bergson’s concept of time as physical duration (as opposed to clock measurement) – time which unfolds in the subconscious, relies on the rhythms of individual perception, and so is unmeasurable.
Time isn’t easily caught, but Harald Smykla makes impressive attempts through his ‘Movie Protocols’, in which the pictographic shorthand notation of a film, created in real time while watching it, makes for what he has called ‘a kind of reverse story-board’. In Smykla’s extremely active approach to the potentially passive act of movie watching, he attempts to make a graphic record of every single shot; and as Buskova’s Baked Woman of Doubice is only nine minutes long, Smykla was able to record it six times over on the opening evening, setting up a visual demonstration of how we never watch quite the same film twice.
|Curators Christina Niederberger and Paul Carey-Kent|
|Pernile Holm Mercer at the opening|
|Tereza Buskova and her lead actress Zoe Simon talk to Alison Gill|
|Nika Neelova with her sculpture|
|Clarisse d'Arcimoles' gallerists Jospehine Breese and Henry Little with her work|
|Steph Carey-Kent, Bella Easton and dog...|
|Chistina Niederberger and Susan Collins inspect the publication|