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Canvases 1 Time in Images
 
Canvases 2 Medieval altarpieces tell a life story through several display panels. Consequently, we are able to see still images from the life of Christ or the Virgin Mary in a type of time lapse, and reassemble the individual frames of the overall composition into a whole, as in a film.

Since the period when panel painting achieved independence in the Renaissance, condensed, individual scenes have captured the customers’ main interest and even more so that of the artists’.

Even if we could determine how subtly this before and after can be incorporated, or be suggested within an apparently uniform scene, nevertheless, the represented duration of an image worthy of representation has become increasingly shortened -
up until William Turner around 1850, or slightly later with the French Impressionists, when the transitoriness of these brief moments became the main focus of the images.

The Futurists and Marinetti around 1910, or Marcel Duchamp shortly thereafter, attempted to capture movement in a static image, to hold onto speed - like the synesthetes who sought the connections between the visual arts and music - until in the end cinema was able to represent a realistic lapse of time and its variances.

In order to capture the dynamic movement of life on static panel paintings, artists have repeatedly sought and found new, visual solutions for this apparently irresolvable antithesis.
Bettina Rave has developed different image forms for this purpose. In 1991-92, she included static video images in her series “Cheimon” and “...alles verschwindet” (...everything disappears) as a middle or doubled outer vertical strip.

Here, the differing images that are frozen in time were visually reassembled into a seemingly continuous time flow. The viewer can read the images in many ways and they are provided with an open end and/or beginning.

The monochrome picture surface contrasts with the real-time details of the still images along the vertical axis. >>
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Bettina Rave
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