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The Sands of Time

David Critchley
1979
2 mins Colour Umatic Video

The Sands of Time

This piece began as a snatched phrase rattling around my head.

"Footprints on the sands of time...", had lodged itself in my mind until I had to find out where it came from, eventually discovering it in Longfellow's 'A Psalm of Life'. Mechanical time and mechanised time shifts had been a thread throughout my work since first moving away from painting and sculpture, but this phrase seemed to raise a poetic element to which I felt a need to respond.

In the single screen video I am sitting reciting 'A Psalm of Life', but only speaking when an unidentified figure walks across the screen in front of me. Starting and stopping the recorder as the figure enters and leaves the frame, I am forced to backtrack in my recital, trying to stitch each take together so that the poem makes sense. Inevitably there are gaps and repetitions of odd words spoken against, and yet because of, the relentless repetitive, foot-clomping passage of the figure across the screen. D.C.

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