Manon de Boer
An Experiment in Leisure, 2016 – 2019
16 mm film transferred to HD video, color, sound
31 minutes 15 seconds
edition 1/5 and 2 A.P.
EUR 25.000 (excl. VAT)
An Experiment in Leisure (2016), which had its premiere in an exhibition setting at the Secession (Manon de Boer. Giving Time to Time, 2016), “is an attempt to translate the idea of aimless and open-ended time into film. In preparation for the project, de Boer exchanged ideas with friends—artists, choreographers, and theorists—about selected key terms in Milner’s work such as reverie, repetition, rhythm, and malleability. A series of sequence shots—long uncut takes recorded with a stationary camera—survey the vast deserted landscape of an island on different days but from an unvarying perspective. Slow tracking shots then direct our attention to details shown in close-up that bring abstract painting to mind, intercut with views of the workplaces of de Boer’s interlocutors: ateliers, dance studios, a library—oblique portraits of their denizens, who are present solely by virtue of their voices and the traces of their activities. The reduction to these calm and expressive pictures—some of the shots might seem like freeze-frames, were it not for subtle changes such as soft ripples on a water surface, a swaying curtain, or the play of light and shadow—slows perception down to the threshold of boredom to generate a state of heightened sensibility and wide-awakeness. The soundtrack consists of a continuous soundscape recorded as the artist was shooting in northern Europe. Now and then offscreen voices layer the natural sounds, fragments from the conversations about Milner, marking positions of a sort amid the constant abstract sonic flow that promotes the desired mental state of drifting and free association.”