A gallery show curated around the theme of time seems fitting for San Francisco, as we’re currently hosting Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” at SFMOMA, and the onset of spring always seems a reminder that time is really passing as new life emerges to its own cycle. “The Time is Now” at John Berggruen Gallery takes a wide view on the theme with an exhibit of work crossing mediums and eras, some loosely relevant by use of the standard time indicators (clocks and watches), while others, doing as art is supposed to, reframe the paradigm you walked in with and show you something different.
Ed Ruscha’s “Ten Sandwiches” had that exact effect on me. Something about this precise presentation of events, the preparation of a journey, was striking and immediately presented the a dichotomy of a lifetime; we are either preparing for, or going on the journey. It also made me think of that cinematic gem where Crispin Glover screams “I’m making my lunch!” over a pile of mutilated sandwiches he’s been up all night making in “Wild at Heart.” It wouldn’t have been out of place playing next to the Ruscha as an illustration of the fine line between preparation and compulsion.
A Diane Arbus photograph “Mother on a couch with her baby on her lap, Bronx, N.Y.” does what photography does best in capturing the specifics of time and place, and gives nuanced meaning to the idea of “hard time”. Other photographs, like Karen Kilimnik’s “Cache” and “Paris Alpine Watches” remind us of how consumerism can divvy up our time neatly, the watches in their glittery faux snow display reminiscent of “the most wonderful time of the year”, a season we look forward to bringing us new stuff and hopefully new beginnings. Lastly, Darren Almond’s “Perfect Time” (top image) is a great comment on the absurdity inherent in our own slavish adherence to “timing” and the idea that simple mechanics will ever measure the complexities of time.
For for information visit here.
-Contributed by Kathryn McKinney