Het HEM is a home for contemporary culture, situated in a former munitions factory on the Hembrug site in Zaandam.
Artist David Claerbout (1969, Belgium) questions the way we perceive our environment and how we deal with the passing of time. Existing photographic or videographic material, such as old black and white photographs, is often the starting point for his work. This is no different with Dancing Couples.
The installation shows a magnified image. Here we see boys, with sweaty foreheads, dancing with girls whose faces are not visible. The photo alludes to difficult times. The meaning of this work revolves around the presence of "reflected light". The raw flashlight, which made the photo possible more than 60 years ago, and the projector lamp that makes this photo look like today, show a remarkable resemblance. Using contemporary techniques, Claerbout adds minimal movement to the originally still image. The slow 3D movement seems to meet our desire to reveal the ladies' faces at first, but in the end only subtly shifts the men's gaze.