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Christian Marclay
The Clock (still)
single-channel video, 24 hours
Paula Cooper Gallery
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by Jerry Saltz

A spectacularly simple idea makes for a spectacular 24-hour film, a work as strong and strange as Warhol’s Empire, and something one of our local museums ought to buy and place on permanent mesmerizing view as soon as possible. In The Clock, the ever-resourceful sampling master and pioneer turntablist Christian Marclay mixes thousands of snippets from films depicting the passage of time -- every minute of the day. Clocks and watches, digital and analog, people speaking the hour, are all combined and presented in real time so that when you see a clock reading, say, 2:22 am from an Alfred Hitchcock film, that’s the actual hour in the real world. But this is much more than about a montage of films-clips depicting time -- although as a Swiss artist I cannot think of another work since the Swiss duo’s Fischl-Weiss’ tremendous The Way Things Go that so captures the Swiss penchant for the unspooling of and the keeping track of time.