Julie Rafalski


Pierre Huyghe's piece Timekeeper (2003) is a mini excavation of a gallery wall, showing the successive coats of paint that had covered the walls over the years. Like the rings of a tree, the circular shapes date the building (in this case the Wiener Secession) to the first time its walls were coated with paint, presumably in 1897.

The colourful rings function as a different way of measuring time- imprecisely and erratically.

Each layer of paint suggests not only the colour of the walls at a particular moment but also, more vaguely, the entire space of the exhibition and what was being exhibited. It is a brief but comprehensive history of the building- a sort of telescopic hole creating the illusion that the past is suddenly tangible and accessible.