by Hollie Mackenzie

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Duration Statement

June 6, 2017

According to Gilles Deleuze (1994), art is an experience that is distinct from the empirical moment. This distinction, Stephen Zepke (2008) explains through Félix Guattari, is conditioned by ‘heterogeneous durations’. These do not obey representational knowledge-claims, coherent narrative frames, or linear temporalities. Such an experience can be likened to what Paul Cézanne (1978) calls ‘iridescent chaos’. Upon experiencing, one can lose the concept of time but still endure the sensual process of the artistic encounter.

 

Duration is an attempt to explore this ‘heterogeneous duration’ as artistic encounter. The functioning clock hands portray a movement that could be representative of a heterogeneous duration, as they spin and swirl over the melting numbers on the clock dial. The clock therefore ceases its power to represent a coherent linear temporality however; it still preserves the percepts and affects that make it reminiscent of the melting watches in Salvador Dalí’s work (1931).

 

However, Duration presents a different kind of melting and movement of time. Through a process of melting wood, Duration incorporates feminist sensibilities. By carving out a feminist version of this symbol of artistic masterpiece from the Western patriarchal history of art, Duration introduces my new feminist artistic project that works to overturn the traditional phallogocentric ideas of the ‘masterpiece’ and ‘genius’ artist.

 

Unlike Dalí’s motionless melted clocks, frozen in time, Duration presents a different time that spins and swirls, turning both forwards and backwards. The heterogeneous movement of this time brings us back to the distinction that art is an experience. No experience is the same, because the artistic encounter is always in a process of transforming and overcoming its current conditions. Art therefore is a process that does not freeze at the creation of a ‘masterpiece’ or is accessed only by the ‘genius’ artist. It is a process that is always on-going, never-ending, and open to all. Duration stands as a feminist proposal that we can all have equality of the imagination. 

 

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