New York

Emily Jacir, Notes for a Cannon, 2016, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Joerg Lohse.

Emily Jacir, Notes for a Cannon, 2016, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Joerg Lohse.

Emily Jacir

Alexander and Bonin

Emily Jacir, Notes for a Cannon, 2016, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Joerg Lohse.

Emily Jacir’s work on time and power summons an unlikely thought: The consensus that everything takes place in a universally shared present is old but not without origin. Her installation Notes for a Cannon, 2016—which sketches, with brilliant looseness, the British imposition of timekeeping systems on both Ireland and Mandatory Palestine in the early twentieth century—brought to mind Aristotle’s take on the subject in Physics (ca. 350 bce): The “now” is a universal “identity” that “accepts different attributes”—all the events of the world within its total advent. But people, he observed, reductively identify time with the sequence of apparent changes, and this conception permits the existence of “many times at the same time” among “more heavens than one.” Physics thus inadvertently describes a practice of time, one that different regions would take up in differing

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