David Claerbout

° 1969

Lives in Antwerp (BE), born in Kortrijk (BE).

David Claerbout is fascinated by the way we observe the world and by the function of our visual memory. He raises questions about how we perceive our surroundings and how we deal with the passage of time. This artist’s work investigates the boundaries between photography and film, between still- and moving images, between animation and digital image-manipulation. Existing photographic or film material, like old black-and-white photos, are his points of departure. David Claerbout then, for example, presents large blow-ups of black-and-white images in video installations, and brings them to life by subtly activating certain details. He uses the latest techniques to add minimal movement to the original still image. Conversely, he brings video images to standstill as well. Important here is the elapse of time: by looking at Claerbout’s work, we become almost physically conscious of time’s eternal march. Small changes in apparently frozen images, the slow creep of light and shadow over a stilled landscape – the constant repetition of (inter)actions or the blowing of new life into archive material, make us ever more aware that nothing and no-one can put time to a halt.


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