It’s hard to tell from the above image, but at first encounter, it’s difficult to tell what exactly this huge sculpture does. Clearly, it does something: the back side is all gears and elaborate mechanisms. While you stand there trying to parse out the function (of course you don’t actually read any written information about it — what’s the fun of that?), a whirring-click alerts you to movement and you see a flap on the front flip down or up and it occurs to you: it’s been about a minute since you started looking.
So you step back, and back further, and when you get as far back as you can, the huge pixels organize themselves into the kind of numbers on an old-school alarm clock. It’s a 24-hour clock, of course, so there’s that to assimilate. The whole thing is a shiny red, with hints of yellow, white and blue. It’s 12 feet tall.
It’s all at once a manifestation of the doomsday clock, the hugeness of a blinking alarm first thing in the morning, a screaming reminder of the remainder of time you’ve got left to live. It’s also a reference to the military rigidity of railway time, the on-the-dot punctuality of a communist society, which is fitting for Almond’s 3-channel video projection in the next room, In the Between, which focuses on the highest railway in the world, opened by the Chinese government to connect China and Tibet.
Matthew Marks Gallery
Feb 17 – April 14