The Distance of a Day
22 June – 22 December 2013
Open during exhibition hours or by appointment
Rhubaba presents our first studio commission, a six-month project initiated with artist David Horvitz. Began in June 2013 as part of Embassy’s Annuale Festival, Horvitz has been invited to respond to the specific content of Rhubaba as a studio facility, showing work within the communal areas of the building. He has chosen to present an extended version of his project The Distance of a Day for the full six-months exploring the effect duration has on the exeperience of an artwork. His work can be viewed during and outwith regular gallery opening hours.
The Distance of a Day
In early February I asked my mom to go and watch the sunset and make a video. She did this from the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where I used to watch the sunset when I lived in California. She made the video with her iPhone taped to a metal barrier that protects people from falling over the cliffs.
In synchronicity with her, I too was looking at the sun and making a video. From my perspective the sun was rising. I had calculated where the the sun would be seen as rising at the exact same moment it was seen as setting in Los Angeles. In early February this was the Maldives, a location which may not exist in the near future due to the rising of the seas.
As my mom watched the sun set into the Pacific Ocean, I was watching it rise over the Laccadive Sea. Synoptic is useful term here. It comes from the Greek syn, meaning “together”, and optic, meaning “seen”. Though separated by thousands of miles, we were watching the sun together.
The title, The Distance of a Day, is a reference to the idea of the journey. Originally, journey meant the distance one traveled in a day. Here, the spatial distance that separated my mother and myself was not defined by the distance one could travel in a day, but by the day itself. By the delimitations of a day – where the sun rises and where the sun sets.
Phones were chosen to make the video because they are devices that orient us spatially and temporally. They are like contemporary pocket-watches and compasses that we carry with us. They coordinate and synchronize us. They broadcast moments instantaneously across distances. Or, what seems to be instantaneously. There is always some delay.
Right now somewhere the sun is simultaneously setting and rising. Someone or something is probably bearing witness to this.
David Horvitz is a Californian artist based in New York. His diverse works range from a downloadable group exhibition to an exhibition curated and contained in a post office box, daily mail outs of the New York sky and dollar bills (everyone he comes across) stamped with the phrase ‘a small distraction interrupting you from your everyday routine’. Recent exhibitions include Statement, with Chert at Art Basel, 2013, POST, North galleries, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2013, Drugstore Beetle II, Special Collections Library, California State University, California, 2013