David Claerbout, Diese Sonne strahlt immer, Exhibition view, Secession 2012, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler

David Claerbout

Diese Sonne strahlt immer

May 3 – June 17, 2012

“Traditionally, museum lighting comes from outside of the artworks; it is what makes contemplation of the artworks possible in the first place. Inside the museum, there is usually perfect daylight, even if that light is totally artificial. Media art in the form of video and film installations, on the other hand, has brought night and dusk into the museum.”
(Boris Groys, catalogue essay “Film in Art Spaces”)

As the motif for invitation cards to Diese Sonne strahlt immer at the Secession, Belgian artist David Claerbout selected a relatively unspectacular-looking snapshot: Rodin’s Eve in the entrance hall of the Bauhaus University in Weimar, photographed against dazzling backlight. This photograph, on show in the Hauptraum together with seven film works, is emblematic for Claerbout’s first solo show in Austria, where sunlight, a key theme in his work, is made to shine using artificial light. The darkened Hauptraum is lit only by the light from the video projections, that reflects off the silver floor adding an extra shine. “My fascination did not so much come from the intensity of sunlight”, Claerbout says, but rather from how a relatively weak projector light can still bring about the memory of intensity in a way that hurts the eye. This simple phenomenon proves that we observe via our memory of things.”

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David Claerbout, born in Kortrijk (Belgium) in 1969, lives and works in Antwerp and Berlin.