If you have not yet caught the Wexner Center's Christian Marclay: The Clock, well, the clock is ticking. It is in town for just one more week!
The Clock is a twenty-four-hour-long video work comprised of film clips perfectly synchronized to the time of wherever it is showing. When it is two-twenty in the afternoon in Columbus, for example, the screen shows a shot of Crocodile Dundee looking into the afternoon sun and saying "it's two-twenty."
The piece premiered at London's White Cube gallery in 2010 and won the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Biennial for Best Artist. The Wexner Center and Columbus have the honor of being the first non-coastal U.S. city to show the work.
Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay spent three years assembling thousands of video clips depicting every minute of the day, largely through shots of clocks and watches and occasionally through characters' dialogue.
The clips span through decades of movies from the classic to the contemporary, featuring movie stars from Cary Grant to Nicolas Cage. The featured movies run the gamut from the blockbuster to the obscure; high- to low-brow, and across multiple languages. There are also a few television clips: I spotted two of my favorites, Twin Peaks and The X-Files.
Marclay, who is a sound artist, bleeds background music from one scene into the next, tricking the viewer into the anticipation of a climax. There is no final scene, however, says Marclay. The beginning is when you walk in and the end is when you leave. The viewer creates their own experience: whether that is ultimately a meditation on the nature of time or a game of movie trivia.
"You become at once very conscious of the time and also of the fact that time flies," said Jennifer Wray of the Wexner Center who introduced the piece to me.
Usually visitors can only see The Clock during gallery opening hours (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) with the exception of a few special showings when the gallery stays open overnight -- the next, and last, will be next weekend.
The final 24-hour long showing at the Wexner Center coincides with the gallery's free admission the first Sunday -- so you can watch almost the entire work for free (from 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 6th to 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 7th). Comfortable Ikea couches in the exhibition space will make it easy to stay a while.
I asked Jennifer if anyone had watched the whole twenty-four hours straight. "Not as far as I know", she said, "but we have had at least one person that has done 12 hours: from five in the evening until five in the morning."
"People don't get kicked out. You can be in there as long as you want."
Be sure to visit this exhibit before it ends Sunday, April 7th.