Christian Marclay is a Swiss-American artist. Constantly moving from New York to London, he has already received many rewards for his performances and works of art. Moreover, he was named by some magazines as “One of the 10 most important artists of today”.
The artist was born on 11 January 1955 in California. He moved to Switzerland with both his parents and went to the “Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel” in Geneva. In 1977 he went back to the US and graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and the Cooper Union in New York.
Since the 70s, this visual artist and composer has been fascinated by the connections between sound, photography, noise, video and film. His speciality soon became the sticking and stacking of sound or picture excerpts. He actually played in a band performing in underground clubs and created himself his music instruments, for example using a turntable to make an electric guitar. He improved his mixing of sounds and visual sources and even became a model for next generations of young artists daily using numeric mixing of voice recording. He is also considered as the inventor of turntablism.
Christian Marclay created many works of art and performances. Two of them are going to be introduced.
“The Clock” is a record installation. This work is composed of 3000 film excerpts and lasts 24 hours, synchronized with the real time. You can then look at it at any moment of the day and be sure it gives the right time.
“The Clock” spreads the artist’s love for the cinema and breaks with any linear or narrative sequence. The work of art is a tribute to the cinema’s history since more than 100 years and the affirmation of today’s cinema. It was shown for the first time at the White Club Gallery of London in 2010 and found favour with the public. After some presentations of his work, Christian Marclay eventually received the Golden Lion of the best artist in 2011. Six assistants helped him finding the sequences, but Marclay himself did the whole editing.
Record without a cover
It is what the title suggests: A record without a cover, i.e. a vinyl LP distributed without any protective package. It was created in 1985 and is one of Marclay’s most notorious pieces of art.
The record itself is a mix of other records. Owner of the LP are instructed not to keep it in any protective sleeve so that every single album remains individual, marked by their own history and by everybody that came into contact with it. For Marclay, the LP comes alive. He wished the medium to come through and to create “a record that could change with time and would be different from one copy to the next.”
Sophie de Streel and Josua Dahmen