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MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Canals, cats and curators. Clothilde Bullen reflects on the experience of attending the 2017 Venice Biennale on the occasion of Tracey Moffat’s Australian Pavilion. more

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Christian Marclay: The Clock

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


29 Mar 2013 to 03 Jun 2013


The Clock is a 24-hour video by artist Christian Marclay. The work was played continuously during regular museum opening hours. Every Thursday for the duration of the season, the MCA presented a special 24-hour screening.

Christian Marclay’s video installation The Clock comprises several thousand short extracts from cinema history that refer to time through the presence of a clock, watch face or related symbol. Mixing diverse film genres, eras and locations, it is a vibrant collage of imagery and sound that chronicles 24 hours’ duration, synchronised to the real time of gallery viewers watching it.

The Clock highlights the centrality of time within conventional cinema narratives – the way it binds stories and leads us through their events. Yet by the same token, cinema traditionally immerses viewers within an illusory sense of time, suspending the real time of the world outside.

Both an art work and a time piece, Marclay’s video heightens time and tells us the time. It creates an uncanny correspondence between cinematic and real time, drawing viewers into a parallel awareness of what they watch on screen and experience beyond it.

Christian Marclay was born in California in 1955 and lives between London and New York. He has employed the concept of collage since the 1970s across diverse media including film and video, photography, installation, sound and music.

Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010

Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010, installation view, Christian Marclay: The Clock, MCA, 2012, image courtesy and © the artist