Let us keep our own noon, 2013

David Horvitz

19.11.2016 — 21.12.2016

National Gallery of Iceland
Picture of bronze bells, artwork by David Horvitz

David Horvitz

(b. 1982 Los Angeles, CA, USA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, USA)

Installation of forty-seven bronze bells made from the metal of a melted French bell from 1742 and slag, and performance for forty-seven performers at local noon. Courtesy the artist and Chert, Berlin 

Performance will take place on Saturday, November 19th at 13:13 (local noon). The installation will be presented until Winter Solstace; 21st December 2016.

The presentation of this work is organized in conjunction with Sequences VIII Real Time Art Festival, curated by Margot Norton.

Let us keep our own noon (2013) consists of forty-seven handbells that were created using re-molded bronze from a French church bell crafted in 1742. The work is activated by performers who, at local noon (when the sun is positioned exactly above the National Gallery of Iceland), collectively ring the bells inside the Gallery and then disperse throughout the building and onto the surrounding streets. The performers stop ringing when each individual can no longer hear another bell aside from his or her own, and return to the Gallery. 

The title is taken from a 19th century headline in the Boston Evening Transcript addressing a local protest against the standardization of time that had been mandated by the railroad companies. Referencing the bygone practice of navigating time according to the position of the sun, the work reminds us that our daily rhythms are not solely determined by us, our traditions, and our locality, but also rooted in global forces. 

Horvitz is not only interested in the shift that happened with the introduction of time zones—a shift that diverted us from calculating time according to the position of the sun above each of us and made us dependent upon the synchronized mechanisms of our wristwatches — but also in the possibility reversing this shift. Dispersing the church bell and its sound, he empowers each performer with the sound of time, rejecting standardized measurements and manifestations. 

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