Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Clock




Scenes from Christian Marclay's 24-hour video installation, "The Clock." (Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery)

At a recent screening of collaged animations, one of the filmmakers (in the Q&A that followed) remarked that she felt that everything has already been made, and it only needed to be reedited to create a new narrative. Her comment resonated with me this past weekend when I ventured out to Lincoln Center to see Christian Marclay’s The Clock. It was the final weekend viewing of the film. As expected, the lines were long. I waited over two hours outside and entered the screening room around 12:30 a.m. While waiting in line, I had a clear view of the illuminated CNN rooftop sign in Columbus Circle. Under the CNN logo, the current time, which I unconsciously kept glancing at, and temperature, a very muggy 81 degrees at midnight, were displayed.  While it was admittedly a tedious wait, I enjoyed observing my line mates, some reading, some amusingly networking with the strangers around them, and some sitting on the pavement, standing up when the line moved forward perhaps a foot and sitting down again and repeating this action in small spurts over and over for the entire two hours. Only a few gave up. 

Once inside, I stayed for about two hours. I was enthralled by the micro abstract narratives that wove throughout the film. There has been plenty of criticism about the film being “too clever” or “gimmicky” but I disagree. I don’t think that something being clever is a negative. The clean editing and syncing with current time is fantastic. As a viewer feeling exhausted at 2 a.m., I watched the characters restlessly toss and turn in their beds, repeatedly looking at the time and remarking how most normal people are asleep. Unlike David Edelstein, I enjoyed getting sucked into one short narrative only to be thrown into another. As an artist living in a place and time that encourages punching out work at a fast pace, I was inspired to read about the hours and years and of course time that went into creating The Clock If I wasn’t already exhausted from a few long days prior, I would have stayed longer. 

4 comments:

  1. Einstein came with his theory about space by looking at clocks. I do not trust Einstein that much though.

    Clocks mean time and time is utterly subjective.
    Therefore, space is curved now. But it was not curved, eh?

    Maybe time and space do not necessarily go together. Just a though.
    We are allowed to prove anything. You have to be able to though.

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