Wiels, Brussels, 2011 (photo credit Jef Jacobs)

American Car

2004, two-channel video projection, colour, dual mono audio, Screen 1: 23 min 32 sec, Screen 2: 9 min 31 sec

In the first large-screen projection we seem to be witnessing a stakeout in the pouring rain by two undercover agents from some 1970s thriller, evoking all the usual stereotypes and a degree of suspense. The viewer is placed in the position of a person in the back seat of the car, hearing the noisy motor and the rain falling on the roof. But the next room opens onto a projection of a vast panoramic rural landscape, clearing after heavy rain. The last drops fall from the leaves and the birds start singing again. We see the car in the distance with the two men sitting still inside. The small trajectory from one room to the other has changed the perspective, time and suspense of an unresolved narrative. 

David Claerbout ©2024