Darren Almond "Darren Almond"

Darren Almond "Darren Almond"

de Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, Amsterdam

‘Darren Almond is a maker of video, sculpture and real-time works. Almond's investigation of time, space and the body seems to be based on a single underlying theme: the instrumentalized human subject. Traction is a video triptych about his parents in which the mother is the silent but emotional witness of the injuries sustained by the father, whose work as a building demolisher is attested by the scars on his body. It is a penetrating portrait with a social-realistic approach, as if it concerned a cinematic continuation of the painting of Gustave Courbet. The video images of mine shafts in Kazakhstan also remind us of nineteenth-century images and the disappearing industrial age. But the video was made in 2000’ and in this unedited form, devoid of all cinematic effects, it almost gives the impression of a live broadcast. The subject matter does not seem terribly contemporary; the images are almost those of a different era, at any rate. Either that or they're timeless, like the sculpture Oswiecim consisting of replicas of the bus stops near the Auschwitz concentration camp. These bus stops were built during the fifties for visitors to the Auschwitz monument in the modernistic architectural style of Mies van der Rohe. Waiting, being transported, working, getting injured, extermination, commemoration: the works bear witness to all these. Even the more literal symbols for the passing of time take on a threatening character. Almond uses large digital clocks in which the sound has been amplified so the elapsing of each minute is marked by a loud tick, more suggestive of lack of freedom than of free time. But it's the counterpoints in Almond's oeuvre that give us hope: the light at the end of the mine shaft with the singing of female shamans and the yellow canaries, used as pilot birds to warn of the danger of poison gas, and the photos of bright, moonlit landscapes.’ (Invitation text De Appel) Catalogue: Darren Almond, 2001. Published by Kunsthalle Zürich.Text: Hamza Walker & Martin Herbert. German & English. 160 pp., f.c., 19 x 26 cm. Soft cover. Design: Mr and Mrs Smith. ISBN 0 952269066. € 30

Darren Almond

affiche, 2001


affiche, 1997

See also