David Claerbout

Kortijk Belgium 1969, lives and works in Antwerp

Shadow Piece
2005
videoprojection b/w, sound, (digital betacam) dvd
dimensions variable
2005.DC.01

The video shows a street scene, filmed from within a vast entrance hall of an office bulding, looking out to a sunlit street.

Only the shadows cast by the passers-by penetrate the glass doors of the building as they approach it and try to open the doors.

The view is directed from a spiral metal staircase onto the entrance hall and the exterior. The architecture is modernist, with huge frontal glass doors, a polished marble entrance floor in the hall, and a metal staircase. The idea of seclusion in the impossibility of entering is linked with the extreme neatness and harmony of the composition, which is taken to a sort of ideal.

It is an image of a past time, a kind of closure. This closure in time is made apparent in the closure of the framed image, which divides the images in two. Only the shadows of the passers-by manage to transgress its limits. One gets the impression of normal time passing in the upper part of the image with the street activity, though only recognizable by shadows, whereas the lower part of the image reminds us of a still photo, only from time to time disturbed by the cast shadow of someone trying to open the doors.