Vera Lutter Folding Four In One
Folding Four In One, 2009
Film Mounted onto Plexiglass

The building at 1 Main Street in Brooklyn, New York, is topped by a monumental clock tower. Constructed in 1914 on a rectangular footprint, each side of the building points exactly to one of the four cardinal directions of the compass. The clock tower, the highest part of the building, is perfectly square and each of the four sides houses a gigantic timepiece. Backed with clear glass, the clock faces allow for an exchange of light. During the day the large clock-windows illuminate the space within, and at night the interior space illuminates the clock faces. Through the clocks, views of four different New York neighborhoods are visible. The spinning indicators of the clock faces interrupt each view and give evidence to the passage of time.

In this lofty and illuminated space, Lutter recorded the four different vistas framed by the spinning indicators. Using a room-sized camera obscura, she exposed large sheets of black-and-white film. The film pieces were then mounted onto Plexiglas, installed in sets of four—one of each directional view—and suspended in space in a square formation. Each of the four large panels is seven and a half feet square.

Reflecting the site of its inscription, Folding Four in One is installed suspended in a large white room. Each corner has three feet of open space between the panels, allowing the viewer to engage the permeable cube from within. While navigating the space, different perceptions of the four vistas unfold, blending in and out of one another, while the time visible on each of the four clock faces remains constant.