Dòra Maurer

16mm, 10 min 37 sec, silent

Hungary 1973–1980


Time is measured by folding a piece of white linen in front of a black background: altogether I fold it seven times, each time starting anew and executing an extra fold. The proportions of the cloth correspond to the picture size of a 16mm film, its width is the distance between my two outstretched arms. At gallery shows the film is projected on the piece of linen that was used in the action so that the ambigous identity of the static carrier of the image and the moving picture is stressed. The piece of cloth shrinks and almost disappears in the process while structuring and determining the time of the film. Four variations were made: the one described above was the first. In the second a mask was placed before the lens to cover half the picture. After rewinding the negative in the camera the process was recorded a second time in order to expose the other half of the frame. In the third and fourth variations the mask was devided into four and eight parts resp. (Dòra Maurer, http://www.sixpackfilm.com/en/catalogue/show/125)

Timing has a remarkable place among the films of Maurer not only because of its clear structure and its ingenious basic idea, but also it stands on the crossroad of all her endeavours she has hitherto made. Of course, it is a ´displacement´ like so many works of her, but this is only a modest aspect of the film. Here one is folding a canvas into two, into four, …into thirty-two - until it becomes unpossible to fold it. But we must not forget that this canvas is the same proportion of the cinema screen, and the metaphor ´the canvas of the painter = the canvas of the filmmaker´ is particularly emphasized by the fact that while folding the canvas, the screen is also dividing itself (and shrinking). (László Beke, http://www.sixpackfilm.com/en/catalogue/show/125)


Dòra Maurer, born 1937 in Budapest, lives and works in Budapest.

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