Mes vingt minutes préférées, 1993

PAL, silent, colour

A close-up shot of the centre of a digital watch, grey-blue, with an orange circle slightly of-centre. Claude Closky's favourite minutes tick by.

A minute from 1:01

A minute from 1:11

A minute from 1:23

A minute from 2:02

A minute from 2:22

A minute from 3:03

A minute from 3:21

A minute from 3:33

A minute from 4:04

A minute from 4:44

A minute from 5:05

A minute from 5:55

A minute from 6:06

A minute from 7:07

A minute from 8:08

A minute from 9:09

A minute from 10:10

A minute from 11:11

A minute from 12:12

A minute from 12:34

From one to the other, the elements of collage are almost imperceptible, the logo of the diver, which represents the waterproof nature of the watch, hardly moves at all in the frame. The minutes pass and we find ourselves wondering about their order. Is it random? Is there a hidden order? A cabalistic succession in the form of a game, where the rules take form in Claude Closky's subjectivity. "With him, time becomes nondescript, neither history nor anecdote, neither significant nor empty. A time liberated from all eschatology…" 1 And yet, faced with this strange time passing across the screen, the spectator finishes by finding a sort of harmony: a certain following on in the numbers, a numerical symmetry, repetitions. We follow the signs of destiny, the happy coincidences that are to be found in the heart of these insignificant forms.

A perception of strange times, where ordinary references are lost. In a society that is becoming more and more obsessed by duration and speed, by the conquest and precision of time, hour, minute, second, tenth of a second, etc., Claude Closky confronts us with an intimate time – his own. Each minute lasts a minute, but since the order isn't predictable, we find it impossible to know how long we have been watching these minutes. The artist's classification perturbs our perception and, at the same time, frees us from the time that daily life imposes on us. Claude Closky's time is pure time to be consumed. A time that refers to itself. A succession of instants that are a marvellous illustration of this common meeting-ground: leaving time to deal with itself.

Time is a recurrent concept in Closky's work. In his collages, where he uses watch advertisements from magazines, he makes us aware of the ideal time for advertisers (ten past ten), using a pen to write the time on the page – sometimes 10:11, sometimes 10:09, but most often 10:10. The artist is also the author of a CD-ROM and an Internet site offering a clock system that uses a decimal base 2.

Dominique Garrigues

1 O. Zahm, Exhibition brochure De 1 à Z la philosophie de Claude Closky, FRAC Franche-Comté, 1994.
2 12 h = 10 h ;