89 seconds at Alcázar

In Room 0 (Ground Floor), free entrance, continuous projections from 10am to 8pm. of this videoart film

Vídeo (12 min.)
Courtesy of the artist


This video was the outstanding success at the Whitney Biennial in 2004, and was highly acclaimed when it was shown in cities all over Europe and America. In making it, Sussman worked with a team of 35 people —with whom she set up The Rufus Corporation—1 including a choreographer, an architect, a costume designer, a stage director, actors and non-actors, and so on.

Screened as a loop, the film shows the moments just before and after the instant captured by Velázquez in his painting. It is no accident that Las Meninas has so often been interpreted in terms of a film still, and seen as reproducing a moment of an ordinary day at the 17th-century Spanish court; Sussman sets out to show us the sequence that includes this particular moment. If she has done this by means of a faithful reproduction of the space, the clothing and the personages, she has also allowed herself some license, such as introducing a window through which a landscape can be seen. The soundtrack, which consists of sighs, heartbeats and footsteps, is also part of the attempt to capture that real moment.

Eve Sussman

London, 1961

Video artist and filmmaker. In 1985 she graduated in Fine Art from Bennington College in Vermont, and in 1999 began using film and video. Her works are characterized by their careful staging and their use of filmic materials and high-definition technology. She has recently turned to the tradition of the tableau vivant. In 2004 she presented 89 Seconds at Alcázar at the Whitney Biennial in New York and set up The Rufus Corporation, the Brooklyn-based company with which she has worked since then.