“To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. . . . All photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
—Susan Sontag, On Photography
When the writer and philosopher Susan Sontag refers to a photograph’s capacity to freeze a moment in a person’s life and simultaneously document time’s unrelenting movement, she explores ideas that can also apply to the strange experience of time during the COVID-19 pandemic—when most of us faced disrupted daily routines, an upended view of the future, and a rupture in the sense of time’s passage as a reliable means by which to mark a life. Time’s Relentless Melt presents photographic and time-based works that grapple with time as multifaceted—linear, cyclical, disjointed, or compressed—and explore the tension between transience and permanence, between recording and remembering. Works on view include Katie Paterson’s visualizations of cosmological time, Andy Goldsworthy’s performances with nature, and Dawoud’s Bey’s commemorations of lives lost.