Friday, April 8, 2011

Christian Marclay

One of my favourite artists, Christian Marclay, has an exhibition on at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank of London that finishes this weekend and has been receiving rave reviews.

The piece is essentially a 24 hour movie where each minute is composed of scenes of other movies depicting exactly that time of the clock and o real day in the scene. Already hailed as a masterpiece, it works as an installation, an extended collage and a critique of film.

A short piece by the BBC gives an overview

While some excerts from the installation are available here:

“The Clock” is not dissimilar to an earlier work of his called “Video quartet” which consists of four screens, or panels, each featuring scenes of movies in which the action centres on music making, singing or even patterns of sounds like explosions and screams. There is an abstract narrative to it, in that themes are clustered and designed to segue through a cycle of all the key emotions. However, the catch is that with four screens you tend to listen to the screen you are watching, thereby changing the sound every time you watch.

Another piece entitled ”Telephones” features a cut and post phone call through the history of cinema.

More musical based work by Marclay has also included sculptures of reassembled vinyl records and a piece called “Guitar drag”, which was a metaphore for the racial atrocities of the south of the US, in paticular where blacks had been dragged behind pick-up trucks in racial attacks. The piece also confronts the fetishism and sacredness of the instrument, especially a Fender guitar, by destroying it in an (a)musical climax.

Finally, here he is on television DJing with four turntables simultaneously. The difference here is he is playing modified records, where one piece of vinyl has literally been grafted onto another to make a chimeric disc.

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