Precise Moment is a large-scale neon installation in which outline neon letters – 1 meter high on a 16 metre structure – spell out the phrase ‘This precise moment in time as seen from the future.’
Etchells’ work is a playful invitation into the viewer’s experience of time – an invitation to think about the circumstances we find ourselves in and how those circumstances might seem when we reflect on them at a later point.
Commissioned for Festa di Roma in the spectacular location of the Circo Massimo as part of the event Oltre Tutto on New Years’ Eve 2020, Etchells’ work playfully combines an invitation for broad philosophical thinking with an opportunity for intimate personal reflection. It draws the viewer into a simultaneous process of looking forwards and looking back in time, projecting ourselves into the distant future and at the same time imagining the present as the past.
The installation asks us to contemplate the global situation, the political and social realities we are caught in whilst at the same time inviting us to think about the more particular circumstances of our own lives. It asks us to think about how the present might seem in the future, how we might come to look back, with the clarity of distance, on the moments we are experiencing and living now.