It’s about Time

Raoul Teulings


“[W]hen, however, we investigate its meaning, it appears to be the core from which a totally new world view can be developed”
 (Leszek Kolakowski on Henri Bergson’s durée in:  Bergson (the Augustine Press, 1985)

“During long periods of history, the mode of human sense perception changes with humanity’s entire mode of existence.” (Walter Benjamin, ‘The work of art in the age of its technical reproducibility’, 1936)

“What is always at stake in an artwork is the world and the subject” 
(Jacques Derrida, The Truth in Painting, 1978)

“Concepts of space and time are the organizing principles for the ways in which we informatize ourselves and the world.” (Raoul Teulings, ‘It’s about time!’, Lecture Gerrit Rietveld Academie, 2005)

‘It’s about time’ is a research project that specifically aims to investigate contemporary concepts of time (images de temp) in relation to specific areas of contemporary cultural production as a basis for formulating a more general art theory. 
In this study, Raoul Teulings attempts to offer a different aesthetic explanation to the usual one provided for contemporary cultural practices. These different/altered practices are typified by a paradigmatic shift that can best be captured in the words of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) as “a gaze that travels from a more expanded to a more transient-ized source”. One section of the research explores the influence of these different/altered aesthetics on the current practice of educational institutions involved in contemporary culture. With this, the investigation intends to realize a different relationship between the perception and production of culture. 

The project will follow this same proposition and underlines the relation between French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) and French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). The research project assumes that, in the work of Duchamp, there is a disjunction with modernist views on art and culture that is more fundamental than is generally assumed. From this collocation, a striking aesthetic practice emerges that is crucial for grasping the contemporary cultural condition. To articulate this discontinuity, Raoul Teulings uses a number of important standpoints iterated in continental philosophy to realize a different set of aesthetics. By so doing, his research becomes not only an acceptance of these ‘other’ aesthetics, but also a criticism of the prevailing institutionalized variant. The latter is after all predominantly based on non-continental thinking and privileges many modernist tendencies that precisely now have become transformed into the works and texts that are the subject of the research. 

As a whole, this becomes an interdisciplinary research project with an intermedial implementation.

Raoul Teulings lived and worked in Amsterdam. In addition to his practice as artist, he has been a theoretician and was  working on two publications. The first, ‘Original perdu’, deals with a paradoxology of the contemporary artwork. The second, entitled ‘… definitely unfinished …’, in collaboration with various other authors, explores the current relationship between the philosophy of Henri Bergson and contemporary avant-garde art.