by CARL HOLMAN
In an era when information is available in a nanosecond, instant gratification is an expectation, and patience is measured in bit rates, The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville presents a landmark exhibition, SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film, that challenges viewers to pause, engage with artworks for extended periods, and reassess the importance of time in daily life.
Running January 26 to April 7, 2013, the exhibition will feature the works of seven American and European artists whose approaches to this concept complement and challenge one another, as well as the viewer’s perception of photography and the temporal constraints of a work of art. Participating in the exhibition are internationally renowned artists Eve Sussman, Kota Ezawa, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Chris McCaw, Idris Khan, James Nares, and David Claerbout.
Curated by MOCA Jacksonville Director Marcelle Polednik, SLOW focuses on artists and works that engage photography, film and video to explore questions of time and duration. A combination of still photographs, films and video works, the exhibition explores multiple approaches to the topic: some works animate and extend the temporal boundaries of painting; others open the sealed confines of photography to the flow of time. In addition, photographic works capture an ever-expanding series of gestures and moments—ones that physically and conceptually transform the boundaries of the medium. In most cases, the temporal elements at play invite the viewer to slow down the process of looking and engage with the works over an extended period of time in order to observe their unfolding.
The exhibition includes several video portraits of characters from Sussman’s 89 Seconds at Alcázar, a 10-minute, continuously flowing single-take that meticulously creates the moments directly before and after the image portrayed by Diego Velásquez in Las Meninas (1656). Polednik originally viewed the piece, hailed as the toast of the Whitney Biennial 2004 and displayed at the nation’s most prestigious art institutions, shortly prior to joining that museum’s curatorial staff.
“How Sussman created a new temporal context — that Las Meninas is a singular frozen moment in a longer narrative – mesmerized me and it formed some of the intellectual framework for SLOW,” she says. “And, just as it takes time to see the individual works in the exhibition, it also took quite a few years for me to conceptualize and organize it.”
Other iconic videos to be shown include Taylor-Wood’s Still Life and Nares’ Street.. Yet, the sun-etched photos of McCaw, the hauntingly appropriative work of Khan, and the cut paper assemblages of Ezawa showcase unique ways that each artist uses different media to affect a viewer’s sense of time.
“We are honored to present several video works by David Claerbout, whose steadfast interest in the shape and perception of time provides an important anchor for this project,” says Polednik.
SLOW will be MOCA Jacksonville’s signature project for its 2012-3 exhibition cycle. Following Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso-Gonzalez Falla Collection of Photography, it is also the second in a series of MOCA-curated exhibitions that emphasizes the indelible influence of photography on the art of our time.
For more information about SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film and its related activities, visit www.mocajacksonville.org or call MOCA at (904) 366-6911.
MOCA Takes Some Time
by CARL HOLMAN