Chris Wiley: Different Pace


‘Elastic Hours’, the 8th edition of the Sequences biennial in Reykjavik, Iceland, took time scales – both short and long – as its subject


Two highlights here were an elaborate installation piece by Nancy Lupo and a recursive video installation by Anna K.E. and Florian Meisenberg. Both dealt obliquely with boredom, that nearly forgotten feeling of time’s dilation that our smart phones now fill.


K.E. and Meisenberg’s work consisted of a series of three video monitors and a projection, each running a synchronized loop – mise en abyme style – of a series of videos made in hotel rooms across the world. Collectively titled Late Checkout I-IV (2015-16), the videos are a kind of collaborative dance between Meisenberg, who operates the camera, and K.E., who improvises languid, balletic movements with her face turned away from the camera, while monitoring Meisenberg’s feed on her iPhone. The contrast between the purgatorial environs of the hotels – hermetically sealed behind plate-glass windows, suffuse with the purring of the air-conditioning systems – and the graceful, sexually charged movements of their inhabitants is poignant, suggesting an effort to buck against the constraints of the grindingly ordinary. At the same time, KE’s entrancement with the screen of her phone suggests escape might not be as easy as we might hope.
Meisenberg and K.E. also performed a new iteration of ‘Late Checkout’, in a suite at a hotel by the Reykjavik marina, which was live-streamed into another room, packed with eager art viewers, to unsettling effect; the experience was uncanny, even suffocating.