Time Circus

By Josephine Berry, 10 January 1997

Review of Tatsuo Miyajima's Time in Blue

On entering Tatsuo Miyajima's Time in Blue installation at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery you can't help envying the invigilator. There's no doubt that the much remarked upon celestial resonance's of the installation work upon you in a similar way to the sight of a beautiful natural landscape or a starry night sky. It inspires feelings of peace. The blue LED's, counting from 0 to 9 and back again, each at their own pace, also parallel the inter-connected individualities that comprise a society - their autonomy and dependence. The LED's random arrangement and constant flux create an infinite number of relationships - an image of chaos - but this is contradicted by their uniformity which introduces the notion of macrocosmic coherence. The LED's own temporal specificity narrows the installation's universal scope to a reflection on our own times - technology's impact on the way we experience time and our relationship to nature and perhaps also nature's reflection in technology. What stops Time in Blue from reductively passing judgement on the nature of time or modernity is the model of chaos that inheres within the piece. Any sanctimonious claims to having found some sort of universal key - which so ham-string Kiefer's latest offerings - are averted by the work's equal stakes in the celestial heavens and Piccadilly Circus-style neon kitsch.

Josephine Berry <josie AT>