Timecode (4 stars)



‘Time’ may not seem like the most original theme for an exhibition, but in this case it’s, well, timely. 2009 marks DCA’s tenth birthday and their current show is designed to usher in a celebratory year culminating in the gallery’s curation of the Scottish Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. So what has been made of this potentially tired old theme? Quite a lot, as it happens.

Timecode takes a very broad view of the notion of marking time. While it features some of the usual suspects that you would expect to see in an exhibition on this theme – such as On Kawara, Japanese creator of the famous ‘date paintings’ – other inclusions are more leftfield. Kelly Mark’s 45-minute sound piece, ‘I really should …’ lists things that the artist thinks she should be doing – a litany familiar to anyone who has mastered the fine art of procrastination. The potentially transformative nature of time is wryly represented by ‘Rough Diamond’, a lump of coal displayed in a perspex case that the artist Ross Birrell has insured for the cost of a one-carat cut diamond.

Ugo Rondinone’s painting of a constellation marks his diaristic view of the sky on a specific day in September 2008, while Ilana Halperin’s work considers physical geological time – such different prospects, yet utterly interrelated. Whether created quickly or gradually, Christian Stock’s paintings demonstrate that each brushstroke or layer of paint is a visible manifestation of the time that it took to execute – a very simple idea, but one that is often overlooked.

Dundee Contemporary Arts, until Sun 8 Mar


  • 4 stars

Group exhibition of works that exhibit an interest in the practice of marking time. Featuring work by both accomplished and emerging artists, including Douglas Gordon, Ilana Halperin and On Kawara.

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