To the Wiels contemporary art gallery this morning to see David Claerbout’s The Time that Remains, the first major retrospective of his work in Belgium. Initially trained as a painter, Claerbout works with photographic projections, film and video. His trademark is slow precision (some images change almost imperceptibly) designed to render time palpable. He is not without a sense of humour. His earliest work in this show Cat and Bird in peace (1996), is a real-time recording of a sitting cat and a standing budgerigar side by side in a cage. The budgie looks from side to side occasionally and the cat yawns, but otherwise nothing happens; there should be tension, but there is none. In his American Car (2004), on the other hand, the viewer senses tension but in reality there is none. Two men sit in a car in the pouring rain, waiting and staring at a particular spot. It seems like a stake-out and we await the denouement, but it isn’t and so there is not. My favourite is Long Goodbye (2007). In slo-mo, a handsome forty-something woman emerges from a door and carries a tea tray to a terrace table. The camera slowly recedes, and we see she is on the terrace of a villa. Then she senses the camera (us, the viewer) and walks slowly towards it, waving goodbye. But as all of this slowly occurs, the day passes at great speed, with shadows lengthening and night falling. The more we want to know the woman and the place, the less we can. It is both simple and profound.