Arena

2007, single-channel video projection, colour, silent, 33 min 32 sec loop

A slow digital slideshow reveals hundreds of pictures in succession that depict a single moment in action. It shows a basketball game at the very instant before a point will be scored...or not.
The players, referees, bystanders on the court and a multitude of spectators wait for the score.
Instead the pictures of the slideshow suspend this moment of outcome, of relief. The many still cameras capturing this moment surgically penetrate the compositions, revealing hundreds of figures in anticipation.
The initial intention of the picture is very clear: a basketball game is being played, but is being gradually transformed into hundreds of single portraits of people looking back at the viewer, questioning the unidirectional view of images.
Each portrait is digitally taken and recorded separately, but is not artificially acted, thus revealing a particular passion in the eyes of those portrayed. The players are photographed by multiple simultaneous photo cameras, carefully avoiding spectacular physical movements, and thus instilling a theatricality in which actions become posed.

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David Claerbout ©2018