‘History of Suspended Time’ by Gonzalo Lebrija
Guadalajara-based artist Gonzalo Lebrija created a public art installation in the parking lot (1430 Delgany Street, Denver, CO 80202) across from the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) in the summer of 2010.
The installation, entitled History of Suspended Time: Monument for the Impossible, was developed as a dual collaboration with MCA Denver’s museum-wide exhibition, Energy Effects: Art & Artifacts from the Landscape of Glorious Excess, as well as Denver’s inaugural 2010 Biennial of the Americas, an international event that celebrated the culture, ideas and people of the Western Hemisphere.
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Lebrija’s History of Suspended Time marked the physical and permanent realization of an earlier performance during which the artist hoisted a restored muscle car above a lake with a crane and then dropped the car into the water while filming it with a high-speed camera. Lebrija’s camera caught the moment just before the car broke the lake’s surface.
While in reality the car was in motion, in the image it appears to be suspended in time, an illusion made monumental in Gonzalo’s subsequent installation. A massive car delicately poised on the surface of the water, History of Suspended Time appears to defy gravity and stop time. In addition to creating an uncanny–even sublime–effect, the installation encourages visitors to think about the automobile as a symbol of modern life and human aspiration.
Furthermore, the work represents a more complex discussion of energy beyond the popular topic of conservation. In Lebrija’s original performance, the artist spent months fixing up a car only to drop it into a lake.
With this glorious excess, Lebrija’s monumental sculpture explores the complicated relationship between excessive energy and artistic production.
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