More than 7,200 people attended LACMA's first screening of the film by video artist Christian Marclay
Swiss visual artist Christian Marclay’s popular video art installation “The Clock” will be screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the coming months.
The 24-hour film, which won the Golden Lion award at the 2011 Venice Biennale, synthesizes thousands of genre-jumping television and movie clips – each featuring a timepiece that tracks every second, minute, hour of an entire day.
“It’s always a huge hit when we screen it,” LACMA spokeswoman Miranda Carroll told TheWrap. “It's screened in real time. When midnight hits [in the film], it really is midnight, and there's always applause and a cheer at that time.”
Marclay's artwork premiered in London in 2010. LACMA acquired "The Clock" in 2011. The Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou and Israel Museum jointly acquired one of the video pieces in 2012.
Most recently shown in New York at the Lincoln Center Festival this summer, “The Clock” returns to LACMA in a screening from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23 (with a 24-hour supply of donuts nearby) — and runs from Dec. 21 to Jan. 21 (with three weekends reserved in January to screen full versions) at MoMA.
More than 7,200 people filed in and out of LACMA's 600-seat Bing Theater during the museum's first screening in March, Carroll said.
Marclay’s video artwork has been widely praised by critics:
“It is hard to say why this panoply of timepieces and plot twists is so gripping, but it is,” wrote New York Times art critic Roberta Smith. “After watching 'The Clock' from around 7:30 p.m. last Friday to past midnight, I dragged myself away, despite the desire to stay and see exactly how the time would be told, how different hours would be rung in.”
“For me, the weirdest effect of 'The Clock' is that the time references became fictional – I stopped noticing that they were telling me exactly what the time actually was," Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw wrote. "They became a series of numbers which ordered the mosaic of moods and moments. And then, slowly but surely, I stopped noticing the time entirely. I just drank it in, just accepted the juxtapositions.
"For me, 'The Clock' isn’t a parlor game of spot-the-time and name-that-film," said Vulture art critic Jerry Saltz. "Or only a tour de force of research — although the three years’ work is an ever-present buzz of invisible content. After this time around, I think 'The Clock' is even more intentional, knitted together, mysterious, connected, and choreographed from one scene to another, one moment to the next, than I did before."