11 Jun - 17 Jun 2009
c17, Wien (Austria)
The exhibition, entitled 12 O'clock, comprises five pieces focusing on the viewer's perception of time. The images and encounters in this work employ photography, installation, video, and performance to reveal and explore Christopher Richmond's interest in temporal measurements used to compare the interval between events and the passage of time.
In Staring at Daytime (November 16, 2008), a series of fifteen photographs, Richmond took photographs of strangers on November 16, 2008 as they stared into the sun. This work engages the subject and viewer in a point of dynamic observation. In each image the subject is directly engaged with the sun and its exact orientation in the sky. In their display, the images are organized in chronological order so as to document the complete passing of the day through the engagement of the subject.
In the first of two video works displayed, Richmond first appears from behind the camera only to quickly recede into the vanishing distance. Entitled Chasing the Horizon (#6), Richmond goes away from the viewer as fast as he can towards the fleeting horizon. As a visual experience, the video offers an ephemeral encounter with light and subjective reality, and explores the psychological impact, which is dependent on how fast he can keep up with the horizon. The performances of this work, entitled, Chasing the Horizon (#7-#9), will take place on June 12, 13, and 14. In these performances, Richmond will begin chasing the horizon when the gallery closes and continue until the sun sets and the horizon is no longer visible. Like the video of this work, the objective in this performance is to chase the horizon, so that the sun never sets. This work can be viewed as both rational and illogical, challenging the viewer to question and critically discuss phenomenological conditions central to one's experience of time a phenomenon linked to the movement of the sun.
The second video piece, entitled, Meinong's Jungle, is named after the Austrian philosopher, Alexius Meinong, who theorized that since non-existent things could be referred to, they must have some sort of being. In this piece, Richmond explores narrative time as a function of forward movement by removing the expected arc from the footage that the viewer sees. In the video, we see a young boy watching an older man clean his rifle. Behind the older man, a horse majestically paces back and forth confined by its corral. Watching this, the viewer has been trained to seek out the inciting event, and expect a narrative climax. These narrative elements, however, do not come to fruition.
In Morning, After Noon, two four foot horizontal fluorescent light boxes hang on the wall, each with twenty five 35mm slides mounted on them, documenting the changing hues of the blue sky through the passing of one day. Here, in contrast to the apparent static subject of each photograph, the installation of these images suggests mobility. The pictures, having been repeatedly taken from the same place looking up into the sky over one day, isolates the viewer s relationship with time. Despite the fact that the camera is not necessarily focused on any one thing, the photographs, in essence, create a mode of being. The longer one looks, the more one notes the differences between the color of the sky in each one and perceives a passing of time between each image.