Fitness, lichte oefeningen

David Claerbout


Print, 5 x (40 x 60) + (30 x 40) cm.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Courtesy David Claerbout.

The oeuvre of David Claerbout (b. 1969) consists mainly of video-, film- and photographic installations. He examines the borders between photography and film, between still and moving images, between animation and digital image manipulation. He brings for example vastly outsized black-and-white video installations to life through a subtle animation of certain small details. Or, conversely, he brings video projections to a sudden standstill with powerful impact.

This tension between momentum and inertia was apparent from the outset in his artistic production. For El Hotel Eléctrico, he reconstructs what he himself describes as his 'first' work as an independent artist. Claerbout did not preserve the original work, but he did preserve the original slides he worked from. Fitness, lichte oefeningen consists of a collage of six prints, reproductions of found photographs. In each image we see a person relaxing by exhaling as deeply as possible. Combining the various instructive photos with each other, viewers feel inclined also to assume this body-language and to add to the snapshot the movement that is missing from it. 'Life' is thus subconsciously breathed into the work, precisely through the act of conscious exhalation.

Claerbout continues the theme of relaxation in his recent video piece Travel (2013). Here the artist raises questions that relate with the way we perceive our surroundings, and how we make our way through the passage of time. As viewers, we become almost physically aware of time's eternal course.

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