Friday, 4 October 2013

Christian Marclay - The Clock

Christian Marclay The Clock
2010 (still)

Experimental musician and appropriation filmmaker Christian Marclay's masterpiece The Clock is a 24 hour looped video work. The piece is composed of thousands of appropriated film clips featuring references to the time - sometimes incidental (someone passing a clock, or a incidental shot through of one through a window), sometimes direct (someone looking at a watch, or referring verbally to the time). The film runs in real-time, acting, as the title suggests, as a clock.

The clips cycle through rapidly, eliciting a cascade of recognitions and associations in the viewer. The film becomes a meditation on time, cinema and the images that form the collective conscious.

Building on previous works such as Telephones (1995) and Video Quartet (2002), Marclay's work is a tour-de-force of video editing, constructed with a team of assistants of researchers. Since Marclay began working in this way we have seen the advent of YouTube and the rise of easily-available digital video. Coupled with this, the increased accessibility of video-editing software has made montage film-making in the manner of Marclay's early work a trope most often executed by bedroom editors generatnig amusing web content. Marclay stages the trope on an epic and spectacular scale, with a poetic elegance that mesmerizes and enthralls.

Winner of the Golden Lion award at the 2011 Venice Biennale, numerous 24 hour screenings have been staged when it has been shown.

Christian Marclay The Clock
2010 (excerpt filmed in gallery)