Last Friday we told you about how you shouldn’t miss The Clock, which was showing in the Lincoln Center. Today, the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog will enter in detail about the creator of the masterpiece everybody can’t stop talking about.
You must’ve heard his name already, right? Christian Marclay is no stranger to the art and music world. In fact, he has been appointed by the Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2012. The reason? The film we told you about. The Clock, his most recent piece, is a mesmerizing and hypnotic experience that everyone loves and critics can’t help but praise. This piece is a 24-hour journey thourgh time in cinema and TV. Marclay joined together clips from these two medias that show time (think clocks, time conversations, minutes ticking) to create a whole day, counting minutes, counting hours. On the screening last weekend in Lincoln Center, people could compare their watches and the screen and see the same time marked. Now, how many times do you have that experience in life?
But, the Swiss-American artist has much more to show. Born in 1955, in San Rafael, California, he was raised in Geneva, but came back to the States to study on the Massachusetts College of Art, in Boston. There, he became acquitted with the underground scene and punk music. The groundbreaking bands he saw made him ask himself: “Why wasn’t music considered art?”
Drawn by the energy of punk music, he began performing. He didn’t have an instrument, so he sang in his duo with Kurt Henry. They didn’t have a drummer, so rhythms of a skiping LP record as a percussion instrument. They also used film loops from cartoons and sex films as audio-visual rhythm tracks. It wasn’t just music, it was performance art.
Marclay filled up a gap, the one between art and music. And that is what is known for, transforming sound into visual and physical forms performance, collage, sculpture, large-scale installations, photography, and video. Always exploring the question that started it all: Why is music not art? By exploring the space between what we see and hear, the swiss-american artist created a remarkable body of work (The Clock was the icing on the already delicious cake), that involves distorted musical instruments, collages and much more.
“While many intellectuals have made wild pronouncements about Marclay and his art – and it is art, make no mistake – writing all sorts of blather about how he strips the adult century bare by his cutting up of vinyl records and pasting them together with parts from other vinyl records, they never seem to mention that these sound collages of his are charming, very human, and quite often intentionally hilarious.” – Thom Jurek, staff writer of All Music-Guide