With its astonishing formal diversity and great conceptual coherence, the practice of British artist Darren Almond is informed by concerns such as time, space, history and landscape. Exploring how these different dimensions intersect and how we “inhabit” them, many of his works testify to his interest in subjective, liminal experiences that exceed all immediate apprehension and thus play on the foundations of our perception and knowledge.
Deploying all facets of his practice – photographs, sculptures, video installation, along with textual works and paintings – his exhibition at Mudam Luxembourg combines motifs that all, in one way or another, concern the inscription of the individual in the world and in the universe. Whether they relate to the cycles of the day and the seasons, the ties that connect us to the Earth or the exploration of the solar system, whether they are interested in polar glaciers, the megalithic site of Callanish in Scotland or Chand Baori, an ancient stepwell in Rajasthan, his works situate us in a complex, sometimes contradictory, relationship with the elements and the phenomena that surround us. A certain fascination and the experience of the sublime are combined with the perception of active and dynamic links; our desire to understand and master the world is mingled with the impression of belonging to the flows that pass through it.
Borrowing its title from a recent series of abstract paintings inspired by representations of the cosmos, Almond’s exhibition presents itself to the viewer as a “temporal landscape.” Each artwork opens onto a singular temporality and together they describe a horizon in which different time scales come into resonance: sensory experience is anchored in geological time, the present confronts infinity, human history encounters cosmic time, the rhythm of life is attuned to the cycles that animate the world.