Basel Time II, 2010
180 x 225 cm
Buchmann Galerie is pleased to announce the exhibition World Time with new works by the Berlin-based German-Iranian artist Bettina Pousttchi (b. 1971).
In her monumental photo installation Echo (2009/2010), the artist created a photographic memory of the Palast der Republik on Schlossplatz in Berlin. Pousttchi has followed a similar concept with World Time by choosing another site in Berlin on which to base a new series of works. The World Time Clock on Alexanderplatz is the point of departure for a new series of photographs which a first part will be presented at Buchmann Galerie for the first time.
For this series, Bettina Pousttchi photographed public clocks in cities throughout the world (Basel, New York, Istanbul, London, Shanghai). The group of work will be complete when at least one clock has been photographed in each time zone. The individual works will together form a type of "photographic world time clock".
Time zones were established in the mid-nineteenth century in connection with international railroad traffic. In the course of global mobility and the digitalization of communication and the associated implosion of time and space, these time boundaries could be almost considered anachronistic today.
All the clocks in Bettina Pousttchi's photo series display the same time. Considering our accelerated pace of life today, these photographs do not only, in effect, freeze a moment, but also create a type of imaginary, global simultaneity. The artist emphasizes the particular role photography plays in how we perceive time, and the associated medial construction of history and memory.
Typically, the editing process introduces elements that transform the image, often in the form of horizontal black-and-white lines. Bettina Pousttchi comments on this: "The blurring in my photo works opens up a space of possibility for the imaginary. In this visual uncertainty lies the question of what reality is, if and how it is depicted, and how we perceive it."
Pousttchi will show sculptural work along with the photographs. They are to be understood as a continuation of Cleared, the sculpture shown at last year's Venice Biennial. The sculptural group Double Monuments (for Tatlin and Flavin) refers to Vladimir Tatlin's utopian architectural model from the 1920s and to the Monuments for V. Tatlin, Dan Flavin's well-known light works from the 1960s.
The use of bent white powder-coated crowd barriers not only contains a formal association to Tatlin's spiral tower, they also refer to the revolutionary spirit of that era, which dissolved existing structures in order to create a new world order.
The cool, white fluorescent light is a reference to the material so associated with Dan Flavin. Yet, whereas Dan Flavin conceived Monuments for V. Tatlin as wall pieces, Bettina Pousttchi uses the tubes as freestanding elements in order to merge them into Tatlin's sculptural structure. Double Monuments (for Tatlin and Flavin) is homage to an artist (Dan Flavin), who had paid homage to another artist (Vladimir Tatlin).
Bettina Pousttchi doubles this principle in order to thus celebrate not only the basics principles of Modernism, but also to make one aware of the relevance history has for the past and the future.
Within the context of the ART BASEL Public Art Projects, Bettina Pousttchi will be showing the 15 x 19 metre photo work, Basel Time I, from 14 to 20 June 2010 on the façade of Messehalle 1. This creates a visual echo of the public clock mounted on top of the main entrance to the fair's exhibition halls.
The artist's new catalogue Echo Berlin will be presented at the ART BASEL Art Salon on Sunday, 20 June at 2 p.m. The catalogue is published by Buchhandlung Walther König for the occasion of Pousttchi's project for the façade of the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (2009/2010). It includes texts by Diedrich Diederichsen, Tom McCarthy, Markus Miessen, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Angela Rosenberg, and Esther Ruelfs.
Bettina Pousttchi was presented in 2003 and 2009 at the Venice Biennial. Her works were shown last year at the Kunstverein Hannover, Kunsthalle Mainz, Kunstmuseum Thun, and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Future exhibitions include the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland, and the Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland.
We will gladly provide you with further information on the artist or visual material upon request.