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April 5 2009 1 05 /04 /April /2009 12:54

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is offering us, from March 20 to June 21, a rare experimentation of the incarnation of time, through three works of the artist Tim Hyde : "Building in Reverse"

There is something very disturbing and attractive in the videos and collaged photographs of this American born artist (1968), where we are losing all our marks… and it might be mainly because he plays with our fundamental bearing of life, time and space. Yet, since the philosopher E. Kant defines time and space as the basic conditions of any knowledge (The Critic of Pure Reason), manipulating them can create a great effect on our sensations. But it is not only about space and time: Tim Hyde, with only three works presented in the museum, bring us much inspiration, and opens up our mind to new perspectives about, for instance, Andy Warhol’s works, the relation between men and architecture, or simply the photographic media. 

To find his subjects, he traveled in very different places such as Albania, Belarus, Ukraine. The Keeper (2006) is a video that takes place in Kiev, Ukraine where the first interest, the architecture of an ex-KGB building, transformed into a focus on speechless encounter with an old lady. Hyde describes it as an "inverted portrait in which the traditional function of figure and background are reversed." Indeed, it remains as a reversal of Warhol’s Screen Test (1964-1966), in which the artist was featuring famous and glamorous people with almost no movement neither talking.  The architecture, which is an inanimate construction of men and was the first focus, gets hidden by this strange figure who actually seems less vivid than the latter. Our conception of those two elements gets then confused and mixed up.

The second video, Video panorama of New York City during which the camera failed to distinguish the city from a snowstorm,  also remains some of Warhol works; the topic is the city of New York disappearing under mist. It plays with our perception of space and time trough a ingenious mechanism of display: It is 180 degree sweep over a period of seven hours, separated in seven parts, each the record of one our filming. The whole presented on seven screens. Then, there is no possible narration, the viewer confronts himself with a blurred vision of one the most emblematic city in world, where space is perceived and transformed in time. Empire a video of the Empire State Building made by Warhol in 1964 was a first experience to render time spatially tangible.

The last work, Untitled (Monument) is a group of collaged photographs that represents a man holding on his shoulders and showing different kind of reduced symbolic architectures. Yet, they embody in a concrete white form an experience of time and space. A magnificent freedom is here expressed, first with the representation of this Sisyphean figure carrying architectures, and second by extending the power of the photographic media.

In only three works, we get an impressive demonstration of a fine plastic reflection on very sharp concept such as time and space.
"Tim Hyde's attentiveness to the production of images in film and photography is evident in his work, and the ways in which it challenges interpretation and the nature of representation," Assistant Curator Adelina Vlas said. "His thoughtful use of the camera lens engages both the perception and the imagination of the viewer."

Don’t miss the experience…

[Visual : Untitled (Monument), 2008–09, Photo collage installation, Courtesy of the artist and Max Protetch Gallery]

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Published by Flora Katz - in Exhibitions and Fairs
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