Maggie Cardelus: Francesca Kaufmann.
The next work, Mervyn, an expanding portrait, was more touching. A photographic portrait of a child--one of the artist's sons, although Mervyn is not his real name--was shown on a screen digitally linked to an Internet site. Cardelus has drawn up a contract, the terms of which are stated in a wall text: The artist promises to keep sending images to the site, thereby documenting the life of the depicted child for the rest of her life. A print of the initial image is kept in a drawer at the base of the frame, and the work will conclude with the insertion into the drawer of the final photo, upon the artist's death.
The last piece, Zoo, age 10, is a technically complex but conceptually simple work. It consists of a sequence of 18,000 photographs shot over a ten-year period--beginning with the birth of the artist's first child (but again, Zoo is not his real name) and ending on his tenth birthday--that show the boy at home with his family, on vacations, and so on. But images flash by so quickly--eleven per second--that the people and settings seem like amnesiac traces: Barely glimpsed, they are already lost; sometimes recalled, but mostly forgotten. Every thirty minutes the entire collection is shown again, but the computer reshuffles the order, making it even harder to remember the images or make connections between them. The order of images is set to begin repeating again after ten years. This "slide show" is accompanied by a sound as drawn-out as the stream of images is fleeting; a selection from Beethoven, originally twelve minutes long but here stretched out to eight hours. Zoo is not simply a portrait of a little boy but of a place, a lifestyle, an era; above all, it is a meditation on the transitory nature of people and things. Its reassuring images of everyday life disappear, leaving us to reflect on the inevitability of death.
Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.
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|Date:||Jun 22, 2007|
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