In the spring of 2017, Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) will present Timekeeper (2016) by New
York-based artist Sarah Sze. Sze, who represented the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale,
is known for a distinctive visual language that employs a wealth of materials and objects.
A keen interest in the concept of time is a recurring feature of Sze’s work. Though rather than
describing time as chronological, and as something that can be objectively measured and
recorded, she explores the kind of time that is associated with recollections and memories,
ascribing a system of order that alludes to the unpredictable ways in which time is experienced
and impressed upon our lives by images and events.
In the centre of a darkened room is a dynamic sculptural assemblage of everyday items
arranged according to a specific logic: that of a working desk, a site of the studio. Formed, in part,
from remnants of the actual editing desk where the work was made, Timekeeper doubles as
sculptural installation and as functional tool: a projector of itself. Screens flicker and fade,
machines click and whirr, while projected images appear and reappear on the gallery walls and
race, cyclically, around the room. This kaleidoscopic encounter echoes the deluge of information
we process each day; images and events, at once familiar and strange, coalesce into a suggestion
of time as both collapsed and expanded by memory and experience.
Here, time does not feel linear; rather, it holds moments that can be revisited over and over again.
In this sense, Timekeeper may bear little relationship to the mechanical devices with which we
mark the actual passing of time, but instead proposes how information is pieced together as we
recall and replay our lives.
ABOUT SARAH SZE
Sarah Sze was born in Boston, Massachusetts and lives and works in New York. She
represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and was awarded the prestigious
MacArthur Fellowship in 2003. She has exhibited in museums worldwide, and her works are held
in the permanent collections of prominent institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, the
Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Fondation
Cartier, Paris; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The San Francisco Museum of Modern
Art; and the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles. Sze’s work has been featured in several biennials
including The Whitney Biennial (2000), Lyon (2009) and Venice (1999, 2013, and 2015). Sze has
also created public works for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Walker Art Center in
Minneapolis, and the High Line in New York.