Prime Time Paradise, 2004

loop, realtime 11 minutes

“We know that behind every image revealed there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that no one will ever see.” (Michelangelo Antonioni)

“We consume images at an ever faster rate and images consume reality”, wrote Susan Sontag in On Photography. While in that book she pled passionately for an “economy of images”, she would later admit that it could no longer be spoken of . “In our digital hall of mirrors, the pictures aren’t going to go away”, she wrote when the images of Abu Ghraib were published. “Yes, it seems that one picture is worth a thousand words. And there will be thousands more snapshots and videos. Unstoppable.” However, the potential force of images can be diminished by their overproduction and by the incessant search of dramatic impact, in a culture in which the shock effect appears as an stimulus for consumption. “How do you deal with the constant flow of information : do you turn yourself away or do you try to create a new, meaningful structure ?” Margit Lukács asks herself. In Prime Time Paradise Broersen and Lukács have frozen a number of images from the daily flow of images in a spatial collage, an infernal media landscape of conflict, death and depravation.The impact is postponed, the gaze renewed.

[Stoffel Debuysere/ Maria Palacios Cruz]


Every day, news reports and other TV images pass by in an endless stream that numbs the viewer, who, as if hypnotized, does nothing more than watch and watch: constantly zapping to the next image or channel, in a steady flow; there is no more standing still. Attention is fragmentary; identification and reflection are impossible, there is always something happening, and old and new images crop up time and again in different places: behind a mountain a town is burning; a soldier is aiming his gun; a girl is screaming; a (destroyed) beach lies next to the building where a UN top meeting is taking place.
Broersen and Lukács have compiled a spatial collage out of innumerable television images, like a scale model. It is not the images that move; they are standing stock-still in a media landscape, the global paradise that is accessible to everyone. Through this décor of simulacra, the weightless viewer flies over hills, through windows and doors and caves, through rooms and across deserts, then under water, only to surface again somewhere else and continue the flight. Devoid of the usual context in which they already seemed to have lost their meaning and effect, the images generate new connections. In an eternal 'now', and within the simultaneity of events, the viewer floats through this infernal landscape, in which nothing is fixed, everything is possible and nothing can touch you. And nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, from time to time it gets to you.
[Esma Moukhtar]


Time Paradise is distributed by the Netherlands Instittue of Media Arts (NIMK).