Whilst at The Tate Modern last week to see a friend’s participation in the talk MFON: Women Photographers in the African Diaspora, I popped into the tanks to see Christian Marclay’s The Clock, mainly to kill half an hour on a cosy sofa (which is never the right reason to see art) but I soon wished I had an afternoon to while away.
The clock is a 24 hour masterpiece of thousands of clips of films spliced together to form a continuous piece in perfect synchronisation with your local time.
The auditorium is dark and cosy with neatly aligned sofas to kick-back into. You cannot help but start by checking your phone/watch – oh yes we’re synchronised beautifully before watching the finer details and the careful crafting of one snippet flowing into another. At times there seems to be another narrative going on, is there? can it be possible? I’m not sure after all.
It’s very clever, not just the enormous amount of time, commitment, energy, conviction needed by Marclay and his team to build a 24 hour film exactly in-sync with real time showing many different instances of time being show on celluloid but also the ebb and flow of something other-than the time itself.
The film quickly creates an obsession with watching time go by and realising there are a myriad of scenes/narratives being told not only in the footage gathered but in the lives of those sharing your auditorium space. Alas, the gallery invigilators soon announce with humour that it is now 17.55 and therefore the gallery closes in 5 minutes. If only I could rewind a little time.
You’ve probably read a few reviews on Marclay’s The Clock by now but if you haven’t got to see it first hand in all it’s cinematic glory it’s still on at the Tate Modern until 20/01/2019. You might even have time for a 24 hour viewing.