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Time Tries All Things

Time Tries All Things was a video installation by artist and filmmaker Grace Weir, exploring time and our human relationship with it. It was specially commissioned to inaugurate our new building and gallery space in King’s Cross London.

Download the audio transcript from Time Tries All Things (PDF, 170KB)

Email: [email protected]

How do we understand time, one of the most elusive properties of the universe? 

The concept of time spans the entire discipline of physics. Physicists from Galileo Galilei to Isaac Newton, from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking, and many others besides have developed conceptions and theories of time. It is also a fundamental part of the human condition. 

This artwork used the lenses of science and art, physics and cinema to explore the theme of time in a brand new way.

Explore time with the IOP

Take a minute or two to explore time


The two-screen audio-visual work was developed from Weir’s collaboration with two renowned physicists.

David Berman is Professor in Theoretical Physics at Queen Mary University of London whose main research interest is in string theory. Fay Dowker is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London, whose research areas include quantum gravity and causal set theory.

The title references a painting by Edward George Handel Lucas from 1881.


Grace’s work was a poetic and lyrical meditation on different notions of time. It elegantly weaved scientific theories, philosophical musings, and cinematic manifestations of this most elusive of concepts.

Time Tries All Things encouraged viewers to reflect on their own lived experience of time, and how this corresponds to, contrasts with, and can be illuminated by scientific knowledge and theory.

About the artist 

Working primarily in the moving image and installation, Weir is concerned with aligning a lived experience of the world with conceptual knowledge and theory.

Interested in the moment of definition or resolution, her work explores the dynamic of practice and representation at the levels where issues of identity and temporality coincide.


One particular area of Weir’s work is her unique approach to research, based on a series of conversations and experiments with scientists, philosophers and practitioners from other disciplines.


Focusing on the slippages between the conceptual and experiential in different fields of enquiry, Weir probes the nature of a fixed identity and these questions are underpinned by the theories under her scrutiny, whether it is relativity, intentionality, the duality of light or philosophies of time, film and the history of art.

Learn more about the artist

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