7 February – 8 March 1997
For his exhibition at White Cube, Darren Almond installed a giant kinetic sculpture that appeared to be a large-scale ceiling fan. A ceiling fan is normally characterised by constant, pure and circular motion, but here it was redefined: as Almond’s fan slowly rotated at head height, its blades extend outward towards the four corners of the room, gradually cutting further and further out into the space to finally embrace the full-square geometry of the gallery’s walls. Fan (1997) is a surreal object—both dreamlike and threatening. Throughout his work, whether in the context of a film or an object, Almond creates dreamscapes: time feels slowed, and objects are enlarged or inverted in ways that explode their usual function.
In the adjoining space, Almond exhibited Tuesday (1,440 minutes) (1996), a large-scale, photographic work that records a kind of performance in which the artist set out to physically experience, or endure, each passing minute of a day. Every time the digital clock in his studio moved to the next minute, he took a photograph. When the resulting 1,440 images were printed, Almond laid them out sequentially in a vast grid. Here, time is pictured according to the logic of the clock, as ‘a series of fixed, discreet elements occurring between two points.’ But within this tight geometry, an organic language intrudes, as the blue light of dawn and the pink light of dusk paint washes of colour across the fixed grid of images. Tuesday (1,440 minutes) is a record of different types of time: solar, clock and body. It is also a kind of microscopic record, an ‘exploded view’ of a day as it passes; seemingly caught but finally elusive, running through one’s fingers like water.