• Ruth Ewan, We Could Have Been Everything That We Wanted to Be, 2011

Her work “We Could Have Been Everything That We Wanted To Be” is a clock that shows decimal time, dividing the day into 10 parts instead of 24. Midnight strikes at 10am, midday at 5pm, each hour is divided into a hundred minutes, and each minute into a hundred seconds. This radical proposal to change the system for measuring time is nothing new. Ewan’s clock is a reference to one historical attempt to redefine and rationalise the calendar. On October 5, 1793, the Republic of France, formed just after the revolution, abandoned the commonly used Gregorian calendar in favour of an entirely new model—the French Republican Calendar. It became the official calendar for the next twelve years, and brought the idea of the new Republic directly into the daily lives of citizens. By reminding us of
that forgotten product of revolution, Ewan also touches on how clocks have been used as tools for political control and, along with the development of the industrial revolution, have proved essential in controlling the workforce.

Year: 2011
Medium: metric clockwork, steel, plexiglas
Format: diameter 100 cm, depth 31 cm

Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: Galeria Rob Tufnell
Index: MSN:4300-25/2013
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Purchased with the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage