The Clock (2010) is a unique and compelling work created by world-renowned sound and video artist Christian Marclay. The work is an ode to time and cinema, and is comprised of thousands of fragments from a vast range of films that create a 24-hour, looped, single-channel video. Marclay compiled thousands of film clips of wristwatches, clock towers, sundials, alarm clocks, and countdowns, each of which illustrate every minute in a 24-hour period.
Years in the making, The Clock examines how time, plot, and duration are depicted in cinema. Although the audience can use the piece to tell the local time, viewers can experience a vast range of cinematic settings and moods within the space of a few minutes, making time unravel in countless directions and rupturing any sense of linear, narrative sequence. The work is both an homage to film history and an affirmation of our present time.
Marclay’s fascination with the collage of sound and image dates back to the late 1970s. Marclay played music with bands in underground club scenes, often using homemade instruments such as a record turntable converted into a portable electric guitar-like device. His innovative artistic practice continues to combine aural and visual sources with a keen sensibility toward complex editing, sampling and looping techniques. Marclay’s experimental work with sound, video and film has been extremely influential on a younger generation of artists for whom the idea of digital sampling and mixing recordings is now a given.
The Clock has been viewed with critical acclaim at venues around the world since premiering at White Cube, London in 2010. It was jointly acquired by the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Christian Marclay lives and works between London and New York. Born in California in 1955, he studied at École Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Switzerland. In 1977 he moved back to the United States and graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He has extensive international exhibition and performance history with solo exhibitions including: The Clock, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2011); What You See is What You Hear, LEEUM Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2010); The Clock, White Cube Mason’s Yard, London (2010); Festival, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Christian Marclay with Irene Schweizer, Gare du Nord, Basel (2009); Christian Marclay: Replay, DHC Art Foundation, Montreal (2008); Cycloptically. Rolywholyover, Fifth Episode, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva (2008); Crossfire, White Cube Hoxton Square, London (2007); The Bell and the Glass, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006); Christian Marclay, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris (2005); The Sounds of Christmas, Tate Modern, London (2004); Christian Marclay, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2003); The Centre for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson (2003); The Seattle Art Museum (2004); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2004); Collection Lambert, Avignon (2004) and the Barbican Art Gallery, London (2005). Marclay’s work has also been presented in numerous group exhibitions around the world.