Contemporary Passions

Contemporary Passions

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 17. Sunrise.

Collecting in the New Millennium: Figure versus Form | Property from a Belgian Collection

David Claerbout


Lot Closed

November 26, 12:17 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 EUR

Lot Details


David Claerbout

b. 1969


single channel video projection, colour, stereo sound, 18 min

Executed in 2009, this work is number 2 from an edition of 5.

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Images courtesy of the artist.

Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris

Acquired from the above by the present owner

The present work titled Sunrise (2009) by the Belgian artist David Claerbout is an 18-minute long video that puts viewers into near-total darkness. The dim tones are highlighted by the grey surface on which the film is supposed to be projected on. The film begins in the early hours of the morning and shows a housemaid preparing breakfast and going about her chores, while the sun has not yet risen. Subsequently, she cycles off into the surrounding dimly lit countryside, accompanied by Sergei Rachmaninoff’s song Vocalise (1912). The play of this song in the final minutes, can be interpreted as a turning point in the video that leads the viewer from mute perfection to a flood of emotions.

Sunrise (2009) is a characteristic example of Claerbout’s oeuvre, who studied painting and drawing in Antwerp and is one of the most innovative and acclaimed artists of his generation. He is known for his distinctive body of works using video, digital technology, sound and photography. The boundaries between photography and video collapse in his works. His video projections demonstrate clear affinities with painting and photography. His practice revolves around the concepts of temporality and duration, images suspended in a tension between stillness and movement, as well as the experience of dilated time and memory. With his large-scale video-based installations, the artist makes the viewer a part of the work. The balanced composition, stillness and high contrast might remind its viewer of paintings by Edward Hopper. The use of new technology in his work may be minimal, but it has a huge effect on the viewer.

Another edition of this present work is in the Collection of De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art in Tilburg and has further been exhibited internationally.