Inspired by the late seventies punk scene and performance art on America’s East Coast, Christian Marclay began experiments into the fusion of music and visual art. His early works were live performances that used turntables and modified thrift shop records to create sound collages. It has been said that Marclay’s use of turntables in these performances preempted Hip-Hop culture and Turntablism. The artist himself acknowledges a mutual exchange between Hip-Hop and his Art, citing appropriation as the common trend.

The use of appropriation and ‘sampling’ forms the backbone of his work. In the 2002 piece, Video Quartet, Marclay samples over 700 Hollywood Films. He has selected various moments, which depict a musical act, for example someone singing or playing an instrument. He then spliced the clips together creating something akin to a visual mix tape. The result is projected across four screens and creates a mesmerizing collage of sound and visuals.

Marclay takes a similar approach to his 2010 piece, The Clock. Marclay once again adopts sequences from the movies. This time the common theme is that they each reference a specific time. In each clip, a character will mention the time or there is a depiction of a clock telling the time. The footage has been edited chronologically together to create a film that runs for 24 hours. Each minute of the 24 hours is demarcated by a moment from film representing that time.


Further Info

Christian Marclay at the White Cube

Interview in Perfect Sounds Forever Magazine

Interview in Bomb Magazine