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Belgian artist David Claerbout presents 3 new videos at Yvon Lambert
Highway Wreck (2013).

PARIS.- Yvon Lambert announces the 3rd solo show dedicated to David Claerbout and the first at the Paris gallery from October 24 to November 22, 2013. For this exhibition, the Belgian artist presents 3 new videos and a series of preparatory drawings, storyboards of his films.

«Interfuit : il a été là (…) il a été absolument, irrécusablement présent, et cependant déjà différé.» R. Barthes (La chambre claire)

When someone speaks of digital manipulation this implies that there must have been an original that is ’pure’ and not manipulated. Photography has indeed been thought of in terms of ‘not manipulated’ by the nature and the grace of the medium.

The mutual authentication between camera and the subject in front of the lens has brought forth an entire visual culture. Until recently that is. The impact of the disillusionment cannot yet be measured, but what seems to dawn is that we now pre conceive a photograph before we look or take one. What we are left with is already the memory of photography as it was, and a bit of its fictional powers. But soon its factual power will be revealed as a construct in which we have yet to find a new belief.

The three works in the exhibition are very different from one another. The most recent work, Travel, is in fact one of my first ideas (1996). It can and should therefore be considered as an early work. Oil workers... attempts to channel a political narrative into an impressionist study - an attempt that would be impossible if it was not for duration to help it sink in, while Highway Wreck is an allegory of overlooking and oblivion.

Travel, 1996-2013
HD color animation, stereo sound, 12 min

«The idea and first preparation for this work date back seventeen years (1996) when I came across a particular piece of relaxation music.

It was originally composed in the mid 1980’s by Eric Breton whose therapeutic music would take away stress, and ultimately induce sleep. I considered that making a piece that could make people fall asleep was not a bad thing at all.

Being purpose driven sounds, the aural images are so predictable and ‘locked in’ that they reminded me of people with stubborn ideas who are unable to give them up. One particular interest lies in the dispassionate, yet cinematic character of the synthesizer, suggestive of ‘generic’ images anyone could imagine, of places in a dark and tranquil forest. The decision not to film, but to use very advanced computer images reflect the search for a space that is beyond the specific, that wants to be generic: it could be many places, but none in particular.

After a three-year production period, a continuous camera movement makes a journey starting in a park, going into a dark European forest, then into an Amazonian jungle and finally exiting the forest revealing a nondescript suburban plain. At this moment of musical finale, disenchantment and catharsis ‘share the podium’ while the camera is taken up into ascension, making it impossible to conclude a final image.

Travel is an attempt to prove to myself that I am capable of working with something that is simultaneously intelligent banal in equal measure».

Oil workers (from the Shell company of Nigeria) returning home from work, caught in torrential rain, 2013
HD color animation, duration endless, silent

«Meticulously reconstructed after a small JPEG image found on the internet, (which also lends this piece its title) we see a group portrait of men sheltering from monsoon rains. They would probably walk away as soon as the rain ends. Still, someone must have had the idea to seize the occasion to take a picture of people waiting for better weather or better times. Indeed, the longer one looks the more they appear to be stuck, until that impression changes into a more official portrait.

The video uses 3D computer techniques and a simple camera movement, setting adrift the certainties of the original image relating to the abundance of water.

Of all the manifestations of time, waiting is one of the most difficult, because it implies being unproductive. The price tag attached to minutes, hours and days makes time expensive. Yet duration can only be free when it is unproductive .

On the other hand drought, conflict and poverty surround Africa like a cloud of flies, determining the picture we have of a continent. It is rarely portrayed as wet. In this piece however, water is the starting point for a picture about the oil industry».

Highway Wreck, 2013
«In Highway Wreck (2013), people stuck in a traffic jam got out of their cars to look at a crashed car by the side of the road, surrounded by rescue workers.

Like a body that goes into coma, the surroundings come to a standstill and all the energy is drawn towards the emergency. It becomes the single focal point of the moment.

The idea for this work, however, does not come from an emergency, but almost the opposite: a found photograph dating back more than 70 years ago. The black and white image depicts a few children and a soldier fascinated by what remains of a car that crashed moments before. For us, looking at that photograph means looking simultaneously at a relic of the past (the black and white image or the car) and something that just happened. What does it mean when something from the past is ‘urgent’? or, reversed : when this crash site has all the time in world, why hurry?

Disaster and cinema have in common that everything in it is consumed by the here-and-now, it is the spectacular action cinema of life. Highway Wreck is an attempt to ‘disarm’ that spectacle».

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

David Claerbout has been featured in numerous international solo exhibitions as (selection) : Kunsthalle Mainz, AT; Secession, Vienna, AT; Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren, DE; Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, IT; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, IL; Parasol Unit, London, UK; Wiels, Brussells, BE; SFMoMA, San Francisco, US; DE PONT, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, NL; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, DE; gl Holtegaard, Copenhagen, DK; Museo do Chiado, Lisbon, PT; Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; MIST LIST VIsual Arts Center, Cambridge, US; Galerie Yvon Lambert, New York, US; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, CH; EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, GR; Belkin Galleries at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CA; Photoespaña 2008, Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, ES; Fine Arts Museum, Brusells, BE; Le Magasin, Grenoble, FR; Akademie der Künste, Berlin, DE. Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre, Dundee, UK; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL; Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, CA; Kunstbau im Lehnbachhaus, Munich, DE; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, ES; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL; Kunstverein Hannover, DE; DIA Center for the Arts, New York, US ...

David Claerbout’s works are held in the permanent collections of major international institutions including (selection): MAC’s Musée des Arts Contemporain – Grand-Hornu, BE; Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg, FR; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, DE; ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, FR; Museum für moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, DE; Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, DE; FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, FR; S.M.A.K, Gent, BE; Centre Georges Pompidou - Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, FR; Rennie Collection, Vancouver, CA; Emanuel Hoffmann Stiftung, Basel, CH; Fondation Antoine de Galbert, la maison rouge, Paris, FR; Lenbachhaus, Munich, DE; GAM Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, IT; De Pont museum voor hedendaagse kunst, Tilburg, NL; Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL; Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, IT; Mudam, Luxembourg; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, DE; Collection François Pinault, FR; Sammlung Haubrok, Berlin, DE; Caldic Collectie, Rotterdam, NL; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US; Kramlich Collection; The Margulies Collection, Miami, US; Collection Jeanne and Charles Vandenhove at the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, BE; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, US; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, IL. ...

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