The work of David Claerbout comes within the context of an aesthetic reflexion where time – included into the complexity of its apparition – becomes the first medium of his artistic approach. In an universe where attributes of the moving image as well as those of photography interact with each other, Clarbout leads the spectator into a profound interrogation of the value of reality. Inspired by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the phenomenology, the Belgium artist introduces an experience of new temporal qualities in his images and transforms the spectator's view on time. In his works, the spectator's perception is the object of a permanent interrogation. Indeed, Claerbout's works examine our relation to time and propose an understanding of duration as an eternal present possessor of both, the potentiality of the past and the future rather than as a succession of moments. By this revealed conscience of time, Claerbout questions the capacity of all kinds of artistic medias of capturing reality and invites the spectator to question the commonly established relations between reality and fiction.
David Claerbout, born in 1969 in Kortrijk, Belgium, is an artist working in the media of photography, video, sound, drawing and digital arts, though perhaps he is best known for his large scale video installations. His work exists at the meeting point between photography and film, and is at the forefront of this contemporary dialogue.
Claerbout studied at Nationaal Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp from 1992-1995. He trained as a painter, but became more and more interested in time through investigations in the nature of photography, the still and the moving image. His work exists at the meeting point between photography and film, and is at the forefront of this contemporary dialogue. Claerbout took part in the DAAD Berlin Artist Program in 2002-2003 and has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where he held a comprehensive solo exhibition (2007–2008) which toured to List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA (2008), Kunstmuseum, St Gallen (2008), Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2008), and De Pont, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg (2009). Other solo exhibitions include 'Diese Sonne strahlt immer', Vienna Secession (2012); 'David Claerbout: Architecture of Narrative', San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011); 'The Time That Remains', WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2011); and 'uncertain eye', Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2010). Claerbout is represented by Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris and Johnen Galerie, Cologne.
'When we're looking at an image, two moments are essential: our first glimpse and then the moment upon which we understand that image. I'm interested in the space in between. I want to make that tangible, I want to unravel and freeze it.'