Preview: Jack Foley
THE work of the internationally-acclaimed visual artist, experimental
musician and composer, Christian Marclay, is being showcased
at the White Cube Gallery in London until August 30.
Marclay has consistently surprised with his surrealistic musical
objects, video installations, solo performances and large-scale
collaborations involving musicians from every imaginable genre.
Marclay's oeuvre resembles a Moebius strip, looping endlessly
in upon itself to create ever more challenging relations, propositions
and configurations between and within the respective archaeologies
of music, art and everyday life.
In his restless yet detailed explorations of the barely charted
experimental terrain in which these parallel disciplines meet,
Marclay fuses surfaces, textures, histories and frequencies of
music in both material and sonic manifestations.
White Cube and Inside the White Cube have combined resources,
literally and conceptually, to present two separate, complementary
exhibitions of Marclay's work, which, together with a live performance
by Marclay with the London Musicians' Collective, will give a
broad sampling of the artist's constantly expanding reach.
White Cube will present the European premiere of Marclay's most
recent and possibly most accomplished work to date, the epic Video
Quartet, a visual and sonic collage that explores a kind of
collective film memory, using extracts from well-known Hollywood
movies, with an overlaid, sampled soundtrack.
Of its first presentation in the US, New York Times art critic
Roberta Smith exclaimed: "Marclay has never brought music,
sound and image into such perfect, beautiful, funny alignment,
nor conflated seeing and hearing so ecstatically
of naming names, identifying individual movies or describing scenes
can account for the work's delicious, fast-paced flow."
For this work, Marclay collected thousands of Hollywood movie
clips featuring images of hands on keyboards, horns and violins,
as well as men and women singing, dancing and engaging in various
other acts of making noise.
Using a standard laptop editing programme, he then choreographed
the unaltered snippets into a dazzling dramaturgical flow.
The resulting work is a fourteen minute, four screen DVD projection
which brilliantly conflates levels of the real and the artificial
from Jimi Hendrix in concert to Elvis in Jailhouse Rock,
and syncopates explosions and pratfalls, lines up trumpeters,
pairs piano-players, and strings together movie screams culminating
in Maria Callas's famous high C. Video Quartet is a tour de force,
an erudite yet highly spirited sampling of the history of music
in film and film in music, from a master of the mix.
For his exhibition at Inside the White Cube, Marclay will show
for the very first time a grouping of intimate "notations"
drawn from different phases of his personal archive.
Echoing his performative strategies as a turntablist, Marclay
will mix unique works on paper - intricate collages, drawings,
photocopies and other forms of graphic notation - with the snap-shot
photographs that constitute his ongoing research into the incidence
of sound as image in the everyday.
Christian Marclay was born in California in 1955 and grew up
in Switzerland. He moved back to the U.S. in 1977 and currently
lives in New York City.
He has been performing and recording music throughout Europe,
Japan and the US since 1979.
His sculptures, installations and projects in musical history
have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally,
including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Kunsthaus
Zurich and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
At present, Marclay has concurrent museum exhibitions in the
U.S; a project exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The
Bell and the Glass, and a survey of his work at the UCLA Hammer
Museum in Los Angeles.
For further information please contact Honey Luard or Susannah
Hyman on 020 7930 5373.
White Cube, 48 Hoxton Square, London, N1. Tel: 020 7930 5373.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 6pm.