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The Hourglasses (2015)
43’40 – 38’15 – 30’31 – 27’15 – 25’15”
mold-blown glass, couscous
series of 5
± 73 x 30 x 30 cm each
edition of 3 + 1 full series + 1 AP
In the framework of the residency program Les Réalisateurs, Nantes (FR)
Photo: Bert de Leenheer (1-3) et Aurélien Mole (4)
With Hourglasses, Lahlou invites us to experience a time that does not exist, or at least one governed by no convention. The time kept by these giant hourglasses is determined freely and always differently. Although the containers contain the same weight of couscous – 10kg each -, the time it takes to pass through differs, not just from one hourglass to the next but from one occasion to the next too. This is because unlike sand, the grains of couscous respond to humidity and are unpredictable. The glass containers have also been blown in a deliberately asymmetric fashion. These two crucial choices mean that the couscous never takes the same length of time twice to pass through the hourglass.
The five hourglasses evoke the ancient measurement of time marking the calls to prayer that punctuate the Muslim day. With this aleatory and stretched time, the artist disrupts the religious rhythm, while drawing attention to the abstract nature of the very notion of time.