In the spring of 2017, Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) will present Timekeeper (2016) by New York-based artist Sarah Sze. Sze, who represented the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale, is known for a distinctive visual language that employs a wealth of materials and objects. Her art challenges the static nature of sculpture as it models and navigates the ceaseless proliferation of information in contemporary life. A keen interest in the concept of time is a recurring feature of Sze’s work. Though rather than describing time as chronological, and as something that can be objectively measured and recorded, she explores the kind of time that is associated with recollections and memories, ascribing a system of order that alludes to the unpredictable ways in which time is experienced and impressed upon our lives by images and events.
Timekeeper is a complex and immersive installation encompassing projection, light, objects, and sound. In the centre of a darkened room is a dynamic sculptural assemblage of everyday items arranged according to a specific logic: that of a working desk, a site of the studio. Formed, in part, from remnants of the actual editing desk where the work was made, Timekeeper doubles as sculptural installation and as functional tool: a projector of itself. Screens flicker and fade, machines click and whirr, while projected images appear and reappear on the gallery walls and race, cyclically, around the room. This kaleidoscopic encounter echoes the deluge of information we process each day; images and events, at once familiar and strange, coalesce into a suggestion of time as both collapsed and expanded by memory and experience. Here, time does not feel linear; rather, it holds moments that can be revisited over and over again. In this sense, Timekeeper may bear little relationship to the mechanical devices with which we mark the actual passing of time, but instead proposes how information is pieced together as we recall and replay our lives.
Sarah Sze was born in Boston, Massachusetts and lives and work in New York. She represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2003. She has exhibited in museums worldwide, and her works are held in the permanent collections of prominent institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Fondation Cartier, Paris; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles. Sze’s work has been featured in several biennials including The Whitney Biennial (2000), Lyon (2009) and Venice (1999, 2013, and 2015). Sze has also created public works for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the High Line in New York.