For a year, the clocks in the foyer of the Kunsthalle Darmstadt will be different. From June 21, 2021 to June 20, 2022, a slow machine ballet will take place there in the rhythm of the American Mountain Time time zone. ‹Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado)›, one of the early real-time simulations by Irish artist John Gerrard from 2009, can also be observed from the forecourt of the Kunsthalle Darmstadt and can be seen differently around the clock.
John Gerrard's portrait of an oil pump in a desert-like landscape is not only realistic in terms of the technical details, but also shows the position of the sun and the course of the stars synchronized with their location in the western United States. In slow motion, the virtual camera circling the pump from the Texan manufacturer Lufkin, whose arm tirelessly goes up and down. Gradually the confusing impression of a sculpture from all angles arises. The sequence of perspectives always looks the same and yet a little different every second. The real-time change takes place below the human perception threshold.
‹Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado)› is part of a series about production systems in the petroleum industry. The horse head pump, which has shaped the image of oil fields since the 1920s, looks like a relic of the fossil fuel age, the appearance of which has hardly changed over its 100-year existence. In a deserted, timeless landscape, the meaning of their actions, which takes place in absolute silence, remains hidden. In John Gerrard's work, their perpetually identical movement is paradoxically an end in itself.
The 2009 real-time simulation ‹Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado)› is on loan from Charlotte Philipps, London. The presentation of the Kunsthalle Darmstadt is possible thanks to a donation from Stefan Krampen and the organizational support of the Thomas Dane Gallery, London.
John Gerrard (* 1974, North Tipperary, Ireland) is an internationally successful artist who works in Vienna. In 2015 he was already on view at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt with the solo exhibition ‹Exercise› and in 2017 in the group exhibition ‹Planet 9›.