15 October – 13 November 2010
White Cube Mason's Yard
'The Clock' is constructed out of moments in cinema when time is expressed or when a character interacts with a clock, watch or just a particular time of day. Marclay has excerpted thousands of these fragments and edited them so that they flow in real time. While 'The Clock' examines how time, plot and duration are depicted in cinema, the video is also a working timepiece that is synchronised to the local time zone. At any moment, the viewer can look at the work and use it to tell the time. Yet the audience watching 'The Clock' experiences a vast range of narratives, settings and moods within the space of a few minutes, making time unravel in countless directions at once. Even while 'The Clock' tells the time, it ruptures any sense of chronological coherence.
'The Clock' plays with how audiences experience narrative in cinema, examining the conventions and devices through which filmmakers create a persuasive illusion of duration. When watching a film, an audience is removed from normal time and swept up in a new register that corresponds to the narrative at hand. 'The Clock' transforms this condition of cinema: time, in this case, corresponds precisely to the actual time beyond the work. The audience will have the peculiar awareness of experiencing a fictional event, or countless events, at what appears to be the same time as when they watch it in the gallery.
Using the medium of collage has been a recurring strategy for Christian Marclay since the late 1970s, when as a pioneering turntablist he began mixing sounds and records, before turning to album covers, works on paper and video. 'Manga Scroll', Marclay's most recent collage-based work, was exhibited in the ground-floor gallery. Included in Marclay's 'Festival', at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 'Manga Scroll' is a 20-metre long scroll featuring hundreds of onomatopoeic words excerpted from Manga cartoons, collaged by Marclay to create a chain of words buzzing with aural energy.
Christian Marclay was born in California in 1955, raised in Switzerland and now lives in London and New York. He has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art (2010), Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva (2008), Cité de la Musique, Paris (2007) Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006), Barbican Art Gallery, London (2005), Seattle Art Museum, Seattle (2004), UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2003). Group exhibitions include La Maison Rouge, Paris (2006), Musée d'Art Contemporain, Avignon, France (2005), SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2003), and Hayward Gallery, London (2000). Christian Marclay continues to collaborate with musicians, including recent performances with Steve Beresford, Okkyung Lee, Shelley Hirsch and Otomo Yoshihide.
A fully illustrated catalogue, with a text by Darian Leader, accompanied the exhibition.