This is the premiere of the German artist’s World Time Clock series, a project Pousttchi began in 2008 and only recently completed. This exhibition coincides with Double Monuments, an exhibition of Pousttchi’s sculpture that runs June 9–Oct. 2 at The Phillips Collection in Washington.
Pousttchi (b. Mainz, Germany, 1971; lives and works in Berlin) has often contemplated systems of time and space in her art. She created “World Time Clock” over the course of eight years, traveling the globe and making a portrait of a public clock in each of 24 time zones. Representing locales as disparate and far-flung as Bangkok, Moscow, Los Angeles and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the photographs each show a clock displaying the same local time: five minutes before two. Together the images suggest a sense of suspended time and what the artist calls “imaginary synchronism.” Seen in close-up, the clocks are united in a single scheme that calls to mind the historic role of Washington as the site of the International Meridian Conference in 1884. It was here that the Greenwich Meridian was adopted as a universal standard, determining a zero point for the measurement of both longitude and time.
“The circular format of the Hirshhorn’s inner-ring galleries makes for a uniquely sympathetic venue for a work devoted to the global structuring of time,” said Melissa Chiu, the Hirshhorn’s director. “The geometries of both the Earth and the face of a clock can be mapped onto the architecture of our space.”