David Horvitz, The Distance of a Day (2013)
David Horvitz, The Distance of a Day (2013)
David Horvitz, The Distance of a Day (2013)

An accurate calculation allows the artist to establish an objective fact: the instant in which the sun sets on the Californian coast coincides with the sunrise for an island on the Maldivian archipelago. How to capture the moment that draws the temporal lapse of the day? David asks his mother, who lives on a beach that faces the Pacific ocean, to film the sunset with a iPhone, while he simultaneously films the sunrise on a Maldivian island with his own iPhone. Video cameras and watches at the same time, the iPhones trap time that looks itself in the mirror, the gaze of mother-son in the eyes, the sun as an ocular placenta. It is the biometric time of Bergson, driven by awareness, it evolves impressing from the reality of the camera: perception, representation, memory. Visual poetry, filmic painting, David Horvitz is suspended between the lightness of who announces that his own exhibition will close in a rainy day and the irony of who hires a professional pickpocket that has the tough job of placing artworks of David without being discovered (provocative gesture on how to put into direct contact the artist and the collector, cutting off from the market the fixed formula of the art system). 

Keyword: sol invictus

In ancient Rome, the cult of the sol invictus, the festivity celebrated during the winter solstice is at the origin of the Christian Christmas. The adoration for the sun is rooted in the ancient near east and in Egypt, it spreads in Rome thanks to Hellenism: promoted by Antonino Pio (131-161 CE), Elagabalo (218-222 CE) will order the construction of a temple dedicated to sol invictus. Nonetheless, it will be the multicultural determination of Aurelian (influenced by his journeys in Egypt and Syria, where the cult of the sun was known for millennia) to promote the devotion in a stable manner through the construction of a temple and the creation of a feast of the natalis solis invicti (birthday of the winning sun). Fixed to December 25th, day of the winter solstice at the time, celebrated with games and races in the Circus Maximus. The temple had its own priests (the pontifices dei soli) and dedicated games (the agones soli) that were held every 4 years.
When Christianity began its affirmation in Rome, the traditional and popular approval for this pagan feast is perceived as a menace. The Christian practice, initially contrary to the celebration of the birthday as a pagan custom, possibly surpasses the crisis of the parousia (the return of the messia) adopting such practice: the feast celebrated to the return of solar light in conjunction with the winter solstice will be eventually associated with the birth of Christ. 


G. Halsberghe, The Cult of Sol Invictus. Études préliminaries de religions orientales 23, Leiden 1972