Since early in his career, Darren Almond has used a diverse range of media and techniques—from manufactured flip-clocks to moonlit, long-exposure photographs—to deploy the notion of time and the way it is perceived. Many of his works are conceived during his expeditions to remote and often inaccessible locations such as the Arctic Circle, Siberia, and the mystic Hiei mountains in Japan. Though concurrently reflecting on the world’s geology, ecology and realities of the human condition within these landscapes, Almond’s work induces evocative meditations on time and duration activating both personal and collective memory.
The exhibition, Within The Shadow of The Sun, links together a constellation of his newest works made as a result of such explorations with a focus on celestial environments. Explicit in these works are the tools and language that have facilitated our greater understanding and comprehension of our being in relation to the infinite void of space and time. Central to the exhibition is Hand-held Sun (2015), a projection of a low-fi iPhone video stretched to the full expanse of a high wall. The video was taken by the artist through the eyepiece of a solar telescope at the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles. As the sun influences the moon, the projection acts as the sole light source within the gallery illuminating the mirror-surface of In Reflection (2015). Each of these works consists of 16 mirrored panels containing either the upper or lower half of an integer. When combined, form undecipherable black-and-white compositions reminiscent of flip-style clocks: They are, however, dysfunctional in telling time operating between the figurative and abstract simultaneously. These works of reflection not only deal with the directness of time itself within the here and now, but they also trigger the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within apparent random fields of data, which the artist refers to as his Apophenic Pictures. In conjunction with these will be Timescapes (2015), a new series of star paintings of Aquacryl on aluminium panels, images derived in reference to the data recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope. The paintings are made in multiple layers of colour, and produced in synergies between artistic and scientific thinking.
In this exhibition, these three sets of works are placed in relation to one another. As our sun sets in the street outside, the projection of this solar surrogate within the gallery is intensified, reflecting and radiating across the mirrored planes. The numbers here of a broken syntax emphasise the ambiguity rather than accuracy underlined by the passage of time, and the ambience of space. Reminding us that the oldest form of navigation is carried out with the use of the stars at night, and the sun during the day. Almond’s oeuvre explores the emotional impact of waiting and anticipation, between arrival and departure, imbuing his works with a quiet, mystical and daring quality.
Press release courtesy SCAI The Bathhouse.
Using both traditional and new media, Darren Almond explores personal and collective visions of time. He questions how such a concept may be understood within the limits of human perception, using research conducted at specific sites to inform his perspectives. For this purpose he often travels to vast, meditative landscapes such as that of the...