installation view at St. John’s Hospital, Bruges, 2020, collection Musea Brugge (photo Dominique Provost)

Wildfire (meditation on fire)

2019-2020,  single channel video projection, 3D animation, stereo audio, color, 24 min, in collaboration with Musea Brugge

Biological programming, still existent in today’s living creatures dictates a reflex to stay away from fire if it cannot be contained (i.e. a wildfire). A ‘meditation on fire’ may therefore sound like an impossibility. Previous works I made, such as Sunrise (…) and Reflecting Sunset (….), included images filmed directly into the sun, looking straight at a raw 93000 lux. These works are all about the wonder of images. How can so little do so much? A video projection of the sun emits a poor few thousand lumen but will still generate a human reflex- briefly- searching protection against too much sunlight. Besides the motif of the sun, early works are animated - not by frames per second it would seem- but by the wind in trees, softly caressing the picture plane, far away from all kinds of stories and in favor of phenomena that even the blind can see, at least if we take innate memory into account. If a blind person can see the picture, it has to be because it can be seen through the nervous system. Outdated is the teaching of the five senses as our gateway to the outside world, as if it concerned a computer with enough USB ports.

further reading

Sint Janshospital Brugge (photo Dominique Provost) and Kunstmuseum Wintherthur 2020

David Claerbout ©2021