Sections of a Happy Moment

2007, single-channel video projection, black & white, stereo audio, 25 min 57 sec loop

Sections of a Happy Moment depicts a single moment in the life of a Chinese family on an sunlit square, surrounded by clean social housing.
The figures – grouped in a circular composition around a ball hanging in mid-air – have been caught in an intimate family moment by a multitude of photo cameras, placed all around the scene. Presented in a slideshow format, the succession of images that circumscribe ‘place’ gradually erase expectations of movement. As the slideshow progresses, the playfulness of the moment becomes like heavy, cast matter. Indeed, the scene trades in its momentary lightness for a feeling of being controlled like propaganda. 

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David Claerbout ©2024