Warsaw Time, 2010
180 × 225 cm
Courtesy Buchmann Galerie Berlin
The exhibition World Time Clock by Bettina Pousttchi is curated by Adam Szymczyk and presents a survey of the diverse oeuvre by the Berlin-based German-Iranian artist (b. 1971) in five halls of the Kunsthalle Basel.
On display are a number of new photographs from the ongoing series World Time. Bettina Pousttchi has photographed public clocks in cities throughout the world. The group of work will be complete when at least one clock has been photographed in each time zone. The individual works will together form a type of "photographic world clock," where all the clocks display the same time. Considering the accelerated pace of our lives today, these photographs not only, in effect, freeze a moment but also create a type of imaginary, global simultaneity. The artist emphasizes the particular role photography plays in how we perceive time and the associated medial construction of history and memory. In this context Bettina Pousttchi realized a large-scale work for the facade of Art Basel in June 2010.
The five large sculptures Double Monuments (for Tatlin and Flavin) refer to Vladimir Tatlin's utopian architectural model from the 1920s and to the Monuments for V. Tatlin, Dan Flavin's well-known light works from the 1960s. The use of bent white powder-coated crowd barriers not only alludes to the form of Tatlin's spiral tower, it also refers to the revolutionary spirit of that era, which dissolved existing structures to create a new world order. Bettina Pousttchi makes one aware of the relevance history has for the present and the future.
On view along with the two earlier videos Occularis and Double Empire is a new piece conceived especially for the exhibition. This video introduces a new body of work entitled Conversations in the Studio. The artist converses with Daniel Buren about the changing reality of artistic production, working in the studio and producing works in public space, such as Echo, a work by Bettina Pousttchi done for the facade of Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin in 2009/2010. The actual conversation is placed into a studio environment by the Polish conceptual artist Edward Krasinski, who himself held conversations and salons in his famous studio in Warsaw, also with Daniel Buren.
Bettina Pousttchi participated in the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2009. Her work was exhibited in exhibitions at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2006), the Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires (2007), the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2008), the TENT Rotterdam (2009), the Kunstmuseum Thun (2009), the Kunstverein Hannover (2009), the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2009 and 2010), the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland (2010), the Pori Art Museum in Finland (2010), and the Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem (2008 and 2010).