Sunday, December 23, 2012
A VIDEO INSTALLATION
BY CHRISTIAN MARCLAY
AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
Detail of The Clock 2010.
Single-channel video with sound, 24 hours.
© Christian Marclay.
Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.
THE CLOCK is a film constructed by editing scenes and fragments from existing, mostly theatrical films from the US mostly, and around the world, into a marathon film taking place over 24 hours, with each scene specific to a specific time of day and synchronized in editing and then in projection to match the exact time of day at which is viewed.
It is designed for “browsers” who will come in, watch for a while and then leave, and perhaps return again -- to sample what films have to say about life at different times of the day.
To be specific about the time, and to facilitate synchronizing the action in the movie with real time, THE CLOCK contains many shots (again, excerpted from existing films) of clocks showing a specific – THE specific – time of day.
Watching the film permits the viewer to meditate on how real life and reel life are shaped by time of day.
As you meditate on time there can be a sense of beginnings, of endings, of suspense -- to the time when some action may happen (the bomb explodes, HIGH NOON, midnight), or to when some action ends (making love until work calls, the morning alarm interrupts a night’s sleep), of time passing (while characters eat breakfast, shop, live, steal), and other facets of time.
While watching, everything happens in the present in real time as you watch, yet there is tension with the time(s) in the past (or future) portrayed in the film clip, the time period defined by when the film clip was created, or when you first saw the film from which it was taken. (Apparently, the LA audience, which probably was more familiar with the films selected than most other audiences, had an especially festive time watching this film and reacting to clips that help frame their own lives.)
There is a sense of contrasts between cultures (separated by place or by time period) and also of the similarities between how very different cultures react to the same time of day.
The film is expertly crafted with transitions sometimes smooth and seamless, other times active and contrasty, with sound carefully engineered, and the selected film clips visually clear and attractive.
The number of clips has never been counted exactly, but each minute seems to have perhaps between 5 and ten, suggesting roughly 7,500 to 15,000 clips in the whole film.
THE CLOCK is being presented at the Museum of Modern Art from Dec 21, 2012 to January 21, 2013. It is presented in a dark room with dark, acoustic curtains and comfortable couches. Admission is free with museum admission, first come first served (with possibly a waiting line to enter if the room is full), then stay as long as you like.
THE CLOCK normally runs during normal MOMA hours. However, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day it will run all night, beginning Dec 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM through Jan 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM, -- and the Museum Café 2 restaurant will offer a special menu (including wine) from 10 PM to 1 AM, and an all night espresso bar.
On subsequent weekends, from Fri, Jan 4 until Monday Jan 21, the film will be shown continuously from 10:30 AM Friday through 5:30 PM Monday.
Updates on visiting THE CLOCK are provided on Twitter @TheClockatMoMa and at MoMa.org/theclock.
THE CLOCK ON TWITTER
THE CLOCK ON WIKIPEDIA
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY ON WIKIPEDIA
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY ON IMDB