Monday, 1 November 2010

Christian Marclay’s The Clock at the White Cube Gallery

A stopped clock is right twice a day trouble is you just don’t know when – Christian Marclay’s The Clock on show at the White Cube Gallery , uses 24 hours’ worth of shots and clips of stopped, stopping clocks from over 3,000 movies to create a synchronised, real-time working clock to solve that problem.

The Clock was brought to my attention by a tweet from Waldemar Januszczak. I follow @Januszczak as we admire many of the same artists and I like his work with his ZCZ film company and

we share a common passion for the Sistine Chapel and the work of Michelangelo Buonarroti . So although normally I have no time for video art - I’m no fan of art that needs to be plugged in - a recommendation from him sparked my interest. And I was AMAZED.

This is a brilliant, innovative idea : a collage which at once both aesthetic and practical - art for art’s sake yet it’s art with a purpose – it’s a real functioning clock which is a delight to watch.

The staging is the bowels of The White Cube gallery set up like a giant living room with large, comfy sofas and a huge screen with great sound.

I took my seat and immediately checked my watch and blow me if it wasn’t 4:55 on my watch but also on screen!....4:59....than bang!...5pm...I was watching time or was I watching the narrative which cut from one scene to another. Time seemed to pass so quickly, a very strange experience as I tried to follow and anticipate the narrative which made sense one moment only to break down and morph into another story in the next minute – all done effortlessly in time, on time.

I’m not a film buff but even I recognised some scenes from Casablanca and Brief Encounter and even a few actors Dirk Bogart , Clint Eastwood and Alistair Sims. But the majority of The Clock’s shots where unknown to me and not just the German, French, Japanese, Bollywood scenes but also the block busters, such is my ignorance. It was great fun to see something you vaguely know or recognise – an actor, a scene , a building , whatever only to have it morph seamlessly into something you didn’t know or recognise. The ever present time either spoken or shown flawlessly moving the disjointed, fractured story on – wonderful!

Available for £500,000 (including hard drive!) from an edition of six and two artist copies to private collectors and museum The Clock would make a brilliant addition to the reception of any company wishing to keep track of its own time.

You can watch The White Cube's Clock for free now , but hurry this Clock stops on the 11th the 11th hour?

Recommended, you'll be amazed.


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