Person at work in a dark factory

Traces [of the Avant-garde]: Mabel Palacin

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July 10, 2009 – February 10, 2020

Una noche sin fin derives from Dalí’s persistent interest in photography and film, specifically his fascination with high-speed photography. Filmed with high-speed cameras, some parts of Una noche play in slow motion. As well, Palacín used time-lapse to speed up movement or create an animation effect. The work is a double-screen, synchronized projection presented on a seamless loop and staged in a red space which evokes the tradition of a movie theater. The sound track is made up of noises recorded in real time and a music track composed by Mark Cunningham, an American composer trained at Eckerd College and now based in Barcelona.

As part of the exhibition Palacín presents two series of photographic images derived from sequences which appear in the video. The first is twenty-four photographs from one of the high-speed sequences where a glass of wine is spilled. Here the film stills reveal the sheer density of images achieved with the high-speed camera. The other group of three images are from a time-lapse sequence, where the theater seating seems to move by its own volition in animation.

Palacín has always been interested in how still and moving images interact and how the new media of photography, film and video shape our understanding of the world. These questions directly relate to Dalí’s writing on photography. As she explains, “Dalí was fascinated with how slow motion was capable of revealing forms that the eye cannot see, and many of the figures that appear in his paintings enormously resemble those provided by the high-speed camera.”

Dr. William Jeffett, Chief Curator / Exhibitions, Salvador Dalí Museum, produced Una noche sin fin. Mirco Mejetta provided artistic direction. The project is a co-production of the Salvador Dalí Museum, the State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad (SEACEX), the Direction of Cultural and Scientific Relations of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and the Department of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalunya (The Regional Government of Catalonia). Thanks to Sponsor Painters on Demand.