The Clock is 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.

Montréal, February 12, 2014 – The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is pleased to present, in its Montréal and Québec premiere, a masterly 24-hour video work—The Clock, 2010—by one of today’s leading artists, Christian Marclay. In addition to screenings during regular Musée hours, The Clock will be shown in its entirety at the MAC on five occasions, including the official inauguration of the work on Friday, February 21.

An immediate success

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 Clock¾a visual tour de force¾has 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.”

Christian Marclay: The Clock

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, presented in a distinctive setting designed by the artist, immerses audiences in a multitude of different periods and genres of cinema.

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, which earned him the Golden Lion, 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.


The Montréal presentation of The Clock was organized by François LeTourneux, associate curator at the MAC.

24-hour screenings of The Clock

  • Friday, February 21 at 6 p.m. to Saturday, February 22 at 6 p.m. (opening of the exhibition).
  • Saturday, March 1 at 11 a.m. to Sunday, March 2 at 6 p.m. (Nuit blanche)
  • Friday, March 7 at 11 a.m. to Saturday, March 8 at 6 p.m. (Nocturne)
  • Friday, April 4 at 11 a.m. to Saturday, April 5 at 6 p.m. (Max and Iris Stern Symposium)
  • Saturday, April 19 at 11 a.m. to Sunday, April 20 at 6 p.m. (closing of the exhibition)

For complete details of activities scheduled for the 24-hour screenings as well as admission charges, free-admission periods, exhibition galleries accessible, etc., please check the Musée website.

Public programs

Max and Iris Stern International Symposium

On Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal will present the eighth edition of the symposium, planned this year to tie in with The Clock and titled Reassembling/Remixing/Sharing: Technologies, Aesthetics, Policies. This event will examine the practices of reassembling and remixing as manifested in various fields¾visual arts, film, sound art, video games¾in the studio or live, in institutional settings, on the Web or in urban space, in professional circles and in amateur networks. These topics will be discussed from different perspectives: technological, aesthetic, legal and political. For more information, go to or call 514 847-6233.

Family Sundays

Tick Tock MAC Clock. For all, with family (age four and up) or friends, every Sunday in March, from March 2 to 30, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. This activity begins with a 30-minute tour of the exhibition, followed by an art workshop. Visitors of all ages will invent their own, totally original clock, with hands and numbers pointing in every direction and featuring a whole succession of improvised characters and actions.


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. The museum gratefully acknowledges their support and that of Collection Loto-Québec, the MAC’s principal partner. The MAC also thanks its media partner, La Presse+.

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]