Continuing with Santiago Borja’s research into architecture as a time device, In the Shadow of the Sun, takes its starting point on the formal and precise disposition of the Royal Military Hospital Kilmainham which is now used to house the Irish Museum of Modern Art, regarding the buildings polar coordinates, and also the homogenous and repetitive architectural language at this site. This repetitive rhythm provokes in the visitor an all encompassing sensation, establishing a circular movement that suggests metaphorically the way in which we conceive time. It is no accident that the courtyard is presided by two time keeping devices, a proper sundial and a clock.
As an almost abstract colour sundial, In the Shadow of the Sun, establishes a subtle remark on the fleeting nature of time and the possibility of perceiving it in an almost literal way. The circular form of the piece echoes the sun’s trajectory from rise to dawn and its inclination corresponds specifically to the biggest angle of sun incidence onto the ground surface. The gap left between the two structural sections of the sculpture acts like a calendar to mark this year’s autumn Equinox on the 23rd of September 2010.
On the other hand, In the Shadow of the Sun is formed by a colourful band that replicates the commonly used Kodak Colour Chart when photographing still objects, mainly paintings, in a controlled environment. Through this device In the Shadow of the Sun establishes a counterpoint in between the solemn formalism of the Royal Military Hospital and its possibility to become a much photographed tourist postcard. The distortions of the sections that create this band of colour, which is also displayed as a curve in space, allow us to perceive the main façade of the Chapel and the Great Hall as a flat readymade image, a processed image ready to be taken away (snapped) by the fleeting passers by, reinforcing the ephemeral quality of any other significant action.
Borja has a Bachelor Degree in Architecture and a Master on Theory and Practice of Contemporary Art and New Media. Recent projects include Divan, Freud Museum, London 2010; Dècalage, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City 2009 and Halo, Pavilion Le Corbusier, Foundation Suisse, CIUP, Paris 2008. Forthcoming projects include Fort Da, Neutra VDL-Research House II, Los Angeles, October 2010.