Marking Time – Marquer le temps

Sometimes your weeks and months seem to have a special theme or flavour. I have been listening to the French radio podcast “On Darwin’s shoulders” (from France Inter) on my dad’s recommendation. I am currently listening a looong series of talks about time, nature, science, the universe, etc. It is such an amazing show, always different, talking about science but borrowing from literature and philosophy. The last 35 podcasts have been about “the beatings of time” and when I saw that the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney was hosting an exhibition called “Marking Time” I thought it was right in my last couple of weeks’ theme.

Rainy Sunday & museum nearly rhyme, don’t they? There was a huge crowd at the Museum because of the Clock exhibition. It’s apparently a must-see but the very long queue was a big turn-off for us and we made our way to the 3rd floor where Marking Time was hosted.

(Also on the forecourt of the museum there was an architectural exhibition/live performance called Daschshunds UN basically a replica of the UN amphitheatre with dogs instead of dignitaries from different countries. We could not see much under the forest of umbrellas (it was pouring down that day) but such an awesome satire to show this cacophonous debate among sausage dogs.)

Marking Time had different types of art pieces and I don’t know much about contemporary art so I will only talk to you my favourite one.

The first one were 2 videos from Daniel Crooks that were showing a man in movement (an old Chinese man doing his Tai Chi routine and a boxer training in an American gym) while slowing down the intermediate phases between movements so that the eyes would see the phases we are not able to see normally. A reflection of the man is “coming out” of the real person and you get the impression that there is 3 Tai Chi men or 3 punching boxers in the video.

Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement)
Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement)
2010, HD video, 16:9, 05:28 min, Stereo

This was so interesting and relevant thinking back at the radio show on the “beatings of time”: seeing what is happening between two beats, what’s invisible to the eyes.

I have finished reading the latest book from Oliver SachsThe Mind’s Eye and one of the conclusions I drew from the book is that the sight is only one way to perceive the world and reality, probably not even the best one. Humans are relying on it so much that they forget or can’t realize that reality is only interpreted by their eyes. Fascinating read as always.

The Mind's Eye book cover
The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks (October 26, 2010) Paperback, Alfred A. Knopf

I wholeheartedly recommend listening to “On Darwin’s Shoulders”, seeing Daniel Crooks’ videos and reading The Mind’s Eye. How stunning that I get to enjoy all these different insights and points of view in such a short period of time!