It’s the latest edition of MAARTEN BAAS’ Real Times’ series: a gigantic clock (over three metres in height) in the Lounge 2 at one of the world’s most popular airports. Every year 15 million people travel through Lounge 2 at Schiphol, hosting passengers from all around the world. This was one of the many reasons why Schiphol asked MAARTEN BAAS to cooperate in replacing the Dutch icons of tulips, clogs and windmills with one of his internationally acclaimed works.

Maarten Baas Real Time

In 2009, world-renowned Dutch designer MAARTEN BAAS launched the first clock in his Real Time series. “Real time is a term that is used in the film industry. It means that the duration of a scene portrays exactly the same time as it took to film it. I play with that concept in my Real Time clocks by showing videos where the hands of time are literally moved in real time.” Real Time clocks show a video performance made by BAAS which takes exactly twelve hours to film and twelve hours to watch it in its entirety, thus creating a hyper-realistic representation of time.

Maarten Baas clock

In this Schiphol project, MAARTEN BAAS took inspiration from the many faceless men who sweep, clean and work at an airport in their blue overalls. “The Real Time Schiphol Clock is basically a big box hanging from the ceiling in Lounge 2. For this work I decided on the most archetypical form of a clock, but it has a ladder going up to it and a little door that you wouldn’t even notice at first glance.” The ladder and door are there to enable this imaginary man in his blue overalls to enter the clock. “He has a red bucket and a yellow cleaning cloth and he is cleaning up after the hands of time, after which he creates a new minute, every time again.” The red, yellow and blue are BAAS’ homage to two of the most definable Dutch artists of the previous century, painter Piet Mondriaan and architect/designer Gerrit Rietveld.

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