Apr 12, 2009
posted at 15:56 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid
April 16 - May 16, 2009permanent link to this post
A Matter of Time
Postmasters is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Wolfgang Staehle.
A Matter of Time is comprised of four real time projections of time-lapse photographic sequences and a premier video work of a Yanomami Village in the Brazilian rain forest. The show will be on view from April 16 until May 16, 2009. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 16, between 6 and 8 pm.
A Matter of Time draws upon mid-19th century painter Thomas Cole’s series The Course of Empire. Cole’s historically critical rumination views pastoralism as the ideal model for civilization, fearing that the ideal of Empire inevitably results in greed and decay. While A Matter of Time holds the mirror of this salient socio-political commentary up to our own time, it is one whose reflection is without indignation to the systems themselves. Perhaps, best encapsulated in the artist’s own 1989 work which avows, “Empires crumble, republics collapse, and idiots live on;” the posit follows that it is our own inordinate ability to destroy the sublimity of any civilization’s ideal that is put on the table.
However, Staehle’s work in no way relies upon homage to Cole’s series, a foray to pastoralism or political satire. Evident in his body of work, the form is always central; and previous works have underscored time-a one-to-one, linear time, a simulative “real time” or the contrivance of frozen time. In this exhibition, A Matter of Time broadly refers to the time lapse photographic sequences (approximately 15,000 photographs per day at 10 frames per minute) but presented here in real time-a rate so methodical that it denudes the image of its cinematographic aspect, while accentuating it pictorially. By allowing us to exact the machinations of nature, through figuratively arresting time, a perceptual shift is created that video does not pose, and thereby realigns our relationship with the real. Each contiguous moment pre-empts the prior, switching out the obsolete image for a perpetually updated “now.” Is it that the representation of an object’s stasis recalls the full force of its movement? Because ultimately, it is this indeterminate relation with time that drives our experience with these quietly unsettling works.