Helen and Morris Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver,  2008 (photo HowardUrsuliak)

Reflecting Sunset

2003, single-channel video projection, black & white, silent, 38 min loop

The composition shows a sunset reflected in the windows of a 1930s building (the Stazione Maritima in Naples, Italy), vaguely mirroring the horizon and skyline of the urban landscape. The austere frontality with which the architecture of the façade is composed stands in sharp contrast to the illuminated depth of the reflected landscape. The camera observes no other movement than the sun setting.
During the 38 minutes of its course across the screen, the sun first hits the marble stones of the façade, then is violently reflected a moment later in the next window. The beholder’s eye instinctively reacts to the projected sunlight, as it would do to real sunlight, because it remembers the physical pain of looking straight into a source of bright light.
David Claerbout ©2020