London, New York, Jerusalem, Ottawa, Seoul, Venice, Moscow, Toronto: The Clock has won over audiences wherever it has been presented. Winner of the Golden Lion, the top prize awarded by the prestigious Venice Biennale, in 2011, Marclay is an internationally renowned artist and The Clock⎯a visual tour de force⎯has already left its mark on his generation. From The Guardian to Newsweek magazine, critics everywhere have showered The Clock with praise. As Zadie Smith put it in The New York Review of Books, The Clock “is neither bad nor good, but sublime.”
To produce this tribute to time and the moving picture, Marclay and his assistants spent three years gathering thousands of film and television clips from every era. Brilliantly edited by Marclay himself, the video is a montage of thousands of clips sampled from movies and television series demarcating, minute by minute, a 24-hour loop that audiences are invited to watch and listen to. The work unifies these disparate fragments into a coherent whole that unfolds in real-time, functioning as an actual clock, allowing viewers to tell the precise time of day. Beyond its technical wizardry and dizzying accumulation of images, The Clock manages to create its own fiction, its own suspense, as time becomes the narrative.
The single-channel video installation immerses audiences in a multitude of different periods and genres of cinema, presented in a distinctive setting designed by the artist.
Marclay began playing music with bands on New York’s underground scene in the late 1970s, when he was a student at Cooper Union. He soon made a name for himself with his experimental, multidisciplinary handling of found images and sounds, a process that has culminated in The Clock. His trail-blazing use of fragmentation, sampling, collage and mixing techniques is universally acknowledged and he has been a major influence on an entire generation of young artists. He continues to work with musicians and to give performances.
Christian Marclay was born in San Rafael, California, in 1955. In addition to his participation in the 2011 Venice Biennale and his show Replay at DHC/ART in Montréal in 2008 (organized by John Zeppetelli, then a curator at DHC), his work has been highlighted in solo exhibitions at a number of prestigious institutions, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 2011, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2010, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, in 2008, and Tate Modern, London, in 2004. Marclay is currently based in London and New York.
An extravaganza of images and sound, The Clock is a remarkable, unique cultural experience.
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada.
Purchased in 2011 with the generous support of Jay Smith and Laura Rapp, and Carol and Morton Rapp, Toronto.
Jointly owned by the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.