A Matter of Time

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There are special moments when the art world comes together to acknowledge the impact and zeitgeist of a particular show and for New Yorkers, that moment is the current Christian Marclay exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery at 534 West 21st Street.

From now until Feb 19, the gallery is showing Marclay's extaordinary 24 hour video piece "The Clock" - a real time assemblage of hundreds (if not thousands) of film clips all dealing in some way with timepieces and time (and myriad other themes, sub-themes, etc.). In other words, if you come into the gallery at 3:04 p.m., the film might be showing a sequence in which, say, Cary Grant will be looking at his watch and it will say 3:04. Ten minutes later, a clip from a german expressionist film of the 30s might have a clock in the background where the time will be 3:14. It might be better explained in the video below.

If you have any opportunity to see this piece, I highly recommend it. You can, of course, dip in and out as you wish. The gallery has an enormous screening room full of very comfortable chairs and couches and the most surprising thing is how entertaining and gripping the work is. Most significantly, this weekend and next (the last two weekends of the show) the gallery will be open from Friday until Sunday 10 a.m. in order to allow the hardiest souls to watch the entire 24 hour cycle.

You can read some background here. And for those outside of New York, it's probably only a matter of time (no pun intended) until "The Clock" comes to a museum near you.


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