Four video installations comprise Architecture of Narrative, the exhibition of work by Belgian artist David Claerbout, currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition’s title underscores the presiding concerns in Claerbout’s study of cinema; he strips his videos of conventions such as plot, character development, and in some cases, action and instead places emphasis on light, sound, and setting. He juxtaposes chronological time against cinematic time, freezing and repeating a single moment so that a scene progresses through a series of vantage points but never forward. In three of the videos, individuals are arrested in position and held captive in a Sisyphean interlude, while space, sound, and time slip past them. More significant than the dissection of cinematic conventions, however, are the negotiations with power that Claerbout creates for viewers.
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