A candle situated at the centre of a circular mirror burns slowly, gradually reducing in size. The reflection extends the candle into virtual space with flames burning at both ends.
'Here one’s perception is split between the experiential narrative of watching the candle slowly burn and the projected narrative of anticipating different scenarios about the object. According to the philosopher Henri Bergson, the mind tackles duration as a simultaneous process merging past memory and future projection within a continually unfolding present. Looking at the flickering flame, the viewer thus experiences three overlapping temporalities: memory, actual perception, and projected narrative. The latter is essentially an amplified, fastforward version of what happens in the present, but it summarizes any number of likely scenarios (the candle gradually becomes shorter as it burns; the wax drips on the mirrored surface; the mirror gets too hot and cracks under the candle’s increasing heat; viewers approach the work to look more closely and see their reflections in the mirror). At once absorbing and analytical, the work exists only for the duration of the burning candle, yet it calls up a roster of prior experiences and corporeal states.'
(Klaus Biesenbach and Roxana Marcoci, 'Toward the Sun: Olafur Eliasson's Protocinematic Vision," in Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, 2008, p. 190)
|Candle, glass mirror|