Sunrise

2009, single channel video projection, colour, stereo audio, 18 min

In the early hours of the morning when it is still dark outside, a maid starts her work. She is getting the house ready for a new day. When she is finished with her task she leaves the still quiet house where the people have not yet risen, closes the door and goes away on her bicycle. She drives off into early morning sunlight while Rachmaninov's popular Vocalise is to be heard. The film ends at this point, and significantly starting the day, her day. The entire first part of the film is set in darkness. Despite that, it is possible to distinguish the contours of actions and architecture in simple geometric compositions, a feature allowed by the minimalist manner in which the house was build. The camera is using the architecture's functionalism to 'imprison' the choreography of the maid's movements in between surfaces and lines, a dominant form throughout the entire first part of the film. The house, reminiscent of Van der Rohe and Johnston, remains enveloped in darkness until the end of the film and it is portrayed as a fragile museum piece, as if it can no longer stand the bright light of modern future. Sunrise leaves us with conflicting feelings about 'the end' of the film. Although filmed as a classical end sequence it feels like a beginning.

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David Claerbout ©2018