Sections of a happy moment
tue-sun 13h-17h (mon closed)
In Sections of a Happy Moment, we see a snapshot of the life of a Chinese family. The family members stand in a circle on a sun-drenched square. In the background, we see some uniform residential blocks. Above the group of people, a ball floats mid-air. This scene was captured from different angles by multiple cameras. The images are presented as a slideshow, in a loop of 25 minutes. While the images, one by one, appear on the screen, the expectation that one of the eleven characters will start moving, disappears. The longer we pay attention, the more the feeling of playfulness seems to vanish. Each character within this mise en scène was photographed separately in front of a chroma key and assigned a place within the scene during the digital editing of the image.
Claerbout puts the viewer in the position of the omniscient narrator, who can comment on the scene from each and every point of view, but who is very much an outsider. The viewer has an alienating, voyeuristic experience. The psychological time, that is the time we imagine when looking at the image, clashes with the way in which Claerbout rationally deconstructs, extends and divides this moment into frames.
About the artist