Tresor. Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna (AT)

16.02.2023 – 16.04.2023

Bettina M. Busse (DE)

“What happened before time began? How can a line go on without end? A circle enables us to imagine that we are eternally going backwards or forwards and never at any point hit an ultimate beginning or end.” – Kay Walkowiak
In spring 2023 the artist Kay Walkowiak will be transforming the tresor in the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien into an installation reflecting the theme of time and temporality on various conceptual and media-conveyed levels: in the centre of the exhibition Eternal Now the film Traces of Time (2021) radically challenges our (Western) perception of time: running sixty minutes, the film shows sixty one-minute shots, each focusing on a clock. Filmed in sixty shops in Calcutta, Varanasi, New Delhi and Chandigarh, the film not only records the passing of an hour but also sixty places in India where these very minutes have ticked by. The clocks are each placed in a specific local setting and are surrounded by photographs, deities, adverts, etc. – resulting in individual still-life motifs. In addition to this visual level, each clock is given its own soundtrack – conversation, film soundtracks or popular Bollywood songs from the radio. In Traces of Time the clocks’ hands turn their rounds within an hour, suggesting the possibility of a cyclical concept of time and addressing the fact that our perception of time is always culturally shaped and that time must not necessarily be conceived in a line.

Text: Bettina M. Busse, Vienna 2023
Photos: (c) Simon Veres