Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerception
5 year drive-by (Gordon, Douglas), 1995Empire (Warhol, Andy), 1964

icon: previous page

the less strongly illuminated parts of the image. In this process, time manifests itself as light and the superimposition of different degrees of brightness.

The Scottish artist Douglas Gordon is interested in the extreme deceleration of temporal structures, almost to the point of dissolution. The relationship of inner and external perception structures his work «Five Years Drive-By,» first shown in 1995 at the Biennale de Lyon.[19] In this work, Douglas Gordon dissects the Western classic «The Searchers»[20] into its cinematic components, that is, individual images. By extending the projection time of the film to the time span of the represented plot, which however encompasses a time frame of five years, it is no longer possible for the viewer to follow the dramaturgy of the images. What remains is a sequence of individual images fourteen minutes in length; each is replaced by the following image, almost entirely unchanged. Since we cannot follow the content, the cinema itself and the excessive representation of its protagonists become the central issue. In contrast to the usual cinema experience, cinematic time seems almost to stand still, while the subjective time experience of the observer


and the media perception itself move to the center of attention.[21]

Andy Warhol deals just as rigorously with the relationship between cinema, time and cinematic conventions. Many of his films are narratives without narrative interventions; although they represent an occurrence in time, they refuse plot development or a climax. Usually they are reduced to one subject and filmed with a fixed, unmoving camera. «Empire» (1964), for example, shows the same shot of the Empire State Building for eight hours, while only the daylight changes. With this, Warhol subverts fundamental cinematic structures like the representation of movement or the use of narrative elements. In a certain sense, due to its unchanging content, the film image is relieved of its representative function, representing movement in time. The question, «and what happens next?» already becomes superfluous after the first minutes, as soon as it is clear that nothing will happen that would approach a cinematic climax. Warhol thus constructs an essentially documentary situation, which however refers more to its own situation of reception than to the content of

icon: next page