Ever since it was first shown at White Cube’s London gallery in 2010, Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay’s The Clock has slowly built up a reputation as one of the century’s most significant art works to date. The 24-hour long film — yep, it really does last for an entire day — is comprised entirely of film and TV scenes that feature timepieces of some sort.
Last week it opened to the general public at the Tate Modern, and in November Tate Collective members — those lucky sods aged between 16 and 25 who qualify for a whole heap of discounts and freebies — will get to spend an entire day in the company of Marclay’s multiple clocks. This special screening will be accompanied with DJs and drinks, before breakfast and meditation in the morning.
One of the Tate team responsible for bringing Marclay’s masterpiece over to Bankside is Fiontan Moran, assistant curator at Tate Modern. He explains that “Tate was fortunate enough to acquire The Clock with the Centre Pompidou and the Israel Museum in 2012, and tells us that “we are excited to be able to finally present it at Tate Modern after it being shown in a number of venues internationally.”
For Fiontan, relatability is central to considering why The Clock has become such a beloved part of the contemporary art history canon. “We all know the feeling of waiting for time to pass quicker while waiting at an airport, and wanting it to slow down when running late when working to a deadline,” he says, going on to explain that The Clock is "a testament to the sheer amount of activity taking place at the same time, seen through the magic of cinema and TV, and I think there is something exhilarating about seeing that unfold on screen in real time and in a gallery setting.”
Anyone looking to attend any variation of The Clock experience would do well to retain the following information, passed on to us by Fiontan by Christian himself: “Christian says that the film has no beginning and no end just like a clock. So whether you stay for ten minutes or 5 hours it’s very much a personal experience.”
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