What appears at first glance to be a large flat analogue clock is in fact a recorded performance featuring two handymen sweeping trash for 12 hours. Creating and erasing sections of the clock, minute by minute, they cleverly combine the marking of time with a durational performance.

Sweepers’ clock is part of Maarten Baas’ ‘Real Time’ series ¬of four 12-hour films, in which people’s actions, rather than the mechanics of traditional clocks, present the passage of time as a highly physical, even labour-intensive, process. The artist combines theatre, art, film and design in a variety of surprising but highly-recognisable formats.

‘Real Time’ was launched in April 2009 and has since expanded from films and standing clocks, to an iPhone app and special commissions.


  • Title: Sweepers’ clock
  • Creator: Maarten Baas
  • Date Created: 2009
  • Provenance: Collection of the Artist
  • Medium: Single-channel video
  • Duration: 720 mins

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