Adel Abdessemed
Real time

‘Real Time’, 2003
video projection 29 sec. (loop), color, sound
dimensions vary (aspect ratio 4:3)

The idea of Real Time refers to an event in which performers and spectators share the same time frame at the same moment, in the same place. The video piece was shot in the Laura Pecci gallery in Milan during a performance. The camera filmed couples having sex in the gallery itself—Abdessemed had accosted them in the street and asked them to take part in the performance with other couples. An audience attended the action.

The video refers to the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003: Adel was in Berlin at the time and witnessed how people in bars and cafés applauded in front of the TV when the news of the war was broadcasted. The performance and the video thus reenact that kind of gaze, but they displace it at the same time. Each shot lasts just a few seconds. The sex act is thus fragmented and presented to the viewer in a modality that differs from a pornographic gaze with its promise of a total voyeuristic view of the bodies in action. The “real time” of the performance breaks down into its re-mediatization, and the ovation recorded at the end is not a conclusion of any linear narrative, but merely the trace of an event to be reconstituted.

Angela Megoni