Intervals @ CCA, Glasgow

Raydale Dower's simple mathematical splitting of a 71 minute concert into a 71 hour light and sound installation is a shockingly visceral subversion of time and space.

Review by Adam Benmakhlouf | 27 Apr 2018
  • Intervals @ CCA, Glasgow

It’s hard not to think of Intervals as a metaphor for Glasgow International: full of anticipation, overwhelming and exciting in equal measure, impossible to see all of it. In his CCA installation in the theatre, Raydale Dower has sliced a 1991 Nirvana concert, dividing it into individual seconds and then incorporating enough of a silent rest between them to make 71 minutes last for 71 hours.

It’s an incredibly neat idea, but becomes unruly set within the Theatre space of the CCA. On entering, there’s the sense of total darkness. The first full volume blast is terrifying, and the red lights nod to some of the terrified reveries that punctuate the consciousness of Hitchcock’s eponymous protagonist Marnie. With that in mind, the form of the work itself draws inevitable comparisons with Douglas Gordon’s 1993 24 Hour Psycho, when Gordon stretched the film from 1 hour 49 minutes to 24 hours.

In both instances, the artists are successful in taking otherwise recognisable material – a film, a concert – and in extending their duration, making something that bears resemblance to its source but becomes unfamiliar through an otherwise intelligible processing. Dower’s Intervals has powerful spatial presence, for example. With only one second of red light, there’s the ambivalent need to get your bearings in the room, as the very architecture of the space is intended to direct audiences to the main stage.

Time as well as space becomes harder to count. Despite having a stable and rigorous rhythm, there’s no sense of being able to anticipate with confidence the next unforgiving one second explosion of noise and light. The silent time of the rests allow a moment to sense the full-body effect of concert-volume music, then the tension of waiting for the upcoming surge. Dower’s rhythm of sensory overload then deprivation make for a confounding thrill. [Adam Benmakhlouf]

Run ended