Out of sync


Christian Marclay   On Time discussing The Clock

"The Clock" has been described as "addictive" and "mesmerizing". The Guardian called it "a masterpiece of our times". In The New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith stated that The Clock "is neither bad nor good, but sublime, maybe the greatest film you have ever seen". Newsweek named Marclay one of the ten most important artists of today.

Copenhagen Contemporary is showing Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) in Scandinavia for the first time. This video installation is recognised as a contemporary masterpiece and won the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

The Clock is an art installation by video artist Christian Marclay. It is a looped 24-hour montage that functions as a clock. Its scenes are selected from cinema and television history, with real-time references to the time of day.

Marclay developed the idea for The Clock while working on his 2005 piece Screen Play. With the support of the White Cube gallery, he assembled a team to find footage, which he edited together over the course of three years. Marclay debuted The Clock at White Cube's London gallery in 2010. The work garnered critical praise, winning the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Its six editions were purchased by major museums, allowing it to attract a widespread following.

After midnight, characters go to bars and drink. Some seek intimacy while others are angry to have been awakened by the phone. In the early hours, characters are generally alone or sleeping. Several dream sequences occur between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. At around 7 a.m., characters are shown waking up. From 9 a.m. to noon, they eat breakfast and have wake-up sex. As noon approaches, a sequence of action scenes build up to bells ringing in High Noon. The video's pace immediately slows once noon passes.

Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., transportation becomes important as characters travel on planes, trains, and automobiles. At 6 p.m., characters eat dinner and have shootouts. In the evening, they attend parties. Around 8 p.m., orchestras and theaters begin their shows. As midnight approaches, the characters become more frantic, throwing tantrums and requesting stays of execution. Screeching violins from multiple clips build up to the moment. At midnight Orson Welles is impaled on a clock tower in The Stranger, and Big Ben, a common sight in The Clock, explodes in V for Vendetta.

For more than thirty years, Christian Marclay has been exploring the connections between the visual and the audible, creating works in a wide range of media, including sculpture, video, photography, collage, music, and performance.

A pioneering DJ using records and turntables as musical instruments to create sound collages, since 1979 Marclay has performed and recorded both solo and in collaboration with many musicians, including John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Otomo Yoshihide, Butch Morris, Shelley Hirsch, Okkyung Lee, Mats Gustafsson, and Lee Ranaldo.

Marclay’s work has been shown in museums and galleries worldwide. International solo exhibitions include the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart (2015); Musée d’art moderne et contemporain in Geneva (2008); Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles (2003); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2001); Kunsthaus Zürich (1997); Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva (1995); and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (1990).


Christian Marclay | filmed by Out of Sync | Cph June 2017
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync

© Out of Sync 2017
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Category: Art | Artist: Christian Marclay

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