Christian Marclay

The Clock is back!

The Clock by Christian Marclay
24-Hour Screening starts – September 22, 12 pm to September 23, 12 pm
LACMA 

Bing Theater | Free; first-come first-served, no reservations | The Plaza Café will be open September 22 from 11 am to 11 pm and will be open again on September 23 from 8 am to 8 pm  | Ray’s will be open on September 22 from 11 am to 2 am and on September 23 from 11 am to 11 pm | Between 8 pm on September 22 and 11 am September 23, please enter the museum at Wilshire and Spaulding | Please park in the Spaulding lot on the corner of Wilshire and Spaulding; $10; free from 7 pm to 6 am | Film may not be appropriate for all ages.

The Clock
LACMA presents another special twenty-four-hour screening of Christian Marclay’s The Clock beginning Saturday, September 22, at noon and ending at noon on Sunday, September 23. The Clock is a twenty-four-hour single-channel montage constructed from thousands of moments of cinema and television history depicting the passage of time. Marclay has excerpted each of these moments from their original contexts and edited them together to create a functioning timepiece synchronized to local time wherever it is viewed—marking the exact time in real time for the viewer for twenty-four consecutive hours. The sampled clips come from films of all genres, time periods, and cultures, some lasting only seconds, others minutes, and have been culled from hundreds of films, famous and obscure, into a seamless whole. The result, a melding of video and reality, unfolds with a seemingly endless cast of cameos. By making the film available in its entirety, this free screening will allow The Clock to be viewed in the way Marclay intended. 

-JO

Another chance to see The Clock!

Christian Marclay’s The Clock: 24-Hour Screening
Saturday, March 24 2012 | 12pm – Sunday, March 25 | 12pm
Free at the Bing Theater | LACMA

“Join us for another twenty-four-hour screening of artist Christian Marclay’s The Clock beginning Saturday, March 24, at noon and ending at noon on Sunday, March 25. Awarded the prestigiousGolden Lion at last year’s Venice Biennale, The Clock is a twenty-four-hour single-channel montage constructed from thousands of moments of cinema and television history depicting the passage of time. Marclay has excerpted each of these moments from their original contexts and edited them together to create a functioning timepiece synchronized to local time wherever it is viewed—marking the exact time in real time for the viewer for twenty-four consecutive hours. The sampled clips come from films of all genres, time periods, and cultures, some lasting only seconds, others minutes, and have been culled from hundreds of films, famous and obscure, into a seamless whole. The result, a melding of video and reality, unfolds with a seemingly endless cast of cameos. By making the film available in its entirety, this free screening will allow The Clock to be viewed in the way Marclay intended.”

-JO 

Last chance—closing on the 27th!:

The View from a Volcano:
The Kitchen’s Soho Years, 1971-85

Curated by Debra Singer, Matthew Lyons, and Lumi Tan

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, The Kitchen presents an exhibition revealing the depth of its early history as a home for both experimental performance-based work and exciting new developments in the visual arts. The show offers a unique perspective on the vibrant, interconnected downtown New York arts scene of the 1970s and early 1980s and features single-channel videos and other artworks presented alongside audio, video, and print documentation related to the institution’s programming during its fifteen years in Soho (1971-85). Featuring video documentation of and artworks by Vito Acconci, Ambitious Lovers, Laurie Anderson, Karole Armitage, Robert Ashley, Charles Atlas, Beastie Boys, Gretchen Bender, Dara Birnbaum, Eric Bogosian, Trisha Brown, Bush Tetras, John Cage, Rhys Chatham, Constance de Jong, Jean Dupuy, Eiko & Koma, Molissa Fenley, Kit Fitzgerald, Simone Forti, Jon Gibson, Pat Hearn, Julia Heyward, Gary Hill, Joan Jonas, Bill T. Jones, Jill Kroesen, Joan Logue, Jackson Mac Low, Christian Marclay, Larry Miller, Meredith Monk, Matt Mullican, Dennis Oppenheim, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Steve Paxton, Wendy Perron, Howardena Pindell, Boris Policeband, Steve Reich, Rock Steady Crew, Arthur Russell, Jon Sanborn, Carolee Schneeman, Stuart Sherman, Mike Smith, Elizabeth Streb, Talking Heads, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Bill Viola, Lawrence Weiner, Arnie Zane, and documentation of many more who were redefining what art, music, dance, and performance could be.

And check out the press:

Cooking in the Kitchen, 1971-1985
–NY Times Style Magazine Blog Deb Singer and Eric Bogosian discuss the 40th anniversary of The Kitchen, and the exhibition “View from a Volcano: The Kitchen’s Soho Years, 1971-85.”
–The Leonard Lopate Show The View from a Volcano: The Kitchen’s Soho Years, 1971-85
–The New Yorker

—VF

5,000 Feet is the Best, Omer Fast

Omer Fast – 5,000 Feet is the Best – video still

Christian Marclay and Omer Fast at the 54th Venice Biennale 

I had the good fortune to travel to several European cities this summer, including a three-day stop in Venice to check out the 54th Venice Biennale. The sprawling exhibition was chock full of glowing screens and projections, underscoring the prominence of video in contemporary art. By my estimate, 80% of the projects presented in the Giardini and the Arsenale contained moving images. Most of the video at the Biennale was predictable— a monitor showing an artist performing some repetitive task, a projection of glitchy Youtube appropriations, or a high-production narrative lacking a solid core. You know the drill. It’s not that any of these video art tropes are inherently weak but if you’re going to rehash a recognizable approach to video making at one of the most prominent international exhibitions, at least make it interesting. I’m hesitant to name specific video works that I found lacking because, frankly, if it didn’t grab me in some way, I was out of there but quick!

That being said, there were two videos I saw in Venice that were absolutely mesmerizing. The first was Christian Marclay’s stunning 24-hour video, The Clock. Marclay deserved to win The Golden Lion—nothing else in the Biennale came close to matching the uncanny beauty and clever editing of The Clock. I watched for two hours before peeling myself from a comfy couch to look at the rest of the work in the Arsenale. The video has been shown in several U.S. venues and has been written about extensively so check out Roberta Smith’s review in the New York Times if you want to know more. Here’s an excerpt:

“That timepieces crop up everywhere in movies is no surprise: Film was the first visual art form to capture and package time, and every movie is an elaborate manipulation of time. Time is the form and content, and, above all, the material. Moviemakers have developed endless devices to make us aware of time’s passage in their films, and to hold us in thrall, or suspense, within that artificial time — while we forget about the real kind outside the theater.

Central to the power of “The Clock” is its strict adherence to real time and its manic compression of movie time. When a clock on the screen reads 11:15 in the morning, it does so at exactly 11:15 in the morning Eastern Standard Time.”

The second video that captured my full attention was 5,000 Feet is the Best by Israeli artist Omer Fast. His single channel projection was shown in a large, darkened space behind a room full of Tintoretto paintings. Fast has been mixing fact and fiction in his work throughout the last decade and this video is no exception. The narrative of 5,000 Feet is the Best revolves around interviews with an anonymous drone pilot from the United States military. His face digitally blurred, he recounts the technical aspects of his job while he was stationed in Afghanistan. Two additional, interwoven narratives add complexity to the drone pilot’s tale. In the first, a fictional character played by Denis O’Hare (True Blood fans will know him as a former vampire king) visits a series of mysterious rooms where he is questioned by a second character who is one part therapist, one part journalist. Their relationship is never made entirely clear but the interviews always begin with identical dialogue before diverging into unexpected directions. “Fictional” interviews bleed into dramatic pseudo-recreations of the events, with a voiceover describing “real” scenarios from Afghanistan while the images are obviously from the American Southwest, specifically Las Vegas and the surrounding desert.

Fast employs small bits of humor to soften the otherwise harsh details of his characters. For instance, in one voiceover segment, a character describes a group of young men burying an IED in the road as a vacationing family approaches. The disembodied voice assures us that these men are identifiable as locals because of their native dress and head ware. The clothing is blue jeans and t-shirts and the head ware is a baseball cap. This brief moment of humor allows us to drop our guard during an otherwise tense scene. In contrast, the extremely violent scene that follows (remember the drone pilot?) hits even harder.

Omer Fast is one of a handful of video artists who deftly manipulates narrative conventions into elegant loops that defy linearity. One could truly enter the work at any time. The beautifully captured images and steady pace provide ample bait for the red-hot political poetry that Fast wants us to experience.

The 54th Venice Biennale is open through November 27th. You can also see 5,000 Feet is the Best in Dublin from September 3rd– November 27th as part of The Tunnel, a large-scale installation by Omer Fast at The Model.

-SSlappe

There will be another 24-hour screening of Christian Marclay’s The Clock at LACMA.

The Clock by Christian Marclay
Thursday, July 28 at 5pm to Friday, July 29 at 5pm
Free in the Bing Theater at LACMA.

Not to be missed!
-JO

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