It’s been acclaimed as the most popular piece of video art ever made, and now Melbourne audiences will be able to set their watches to Christian Marclay’s groundbreaking piece, The Clock.
Spanning a full 24-hour cycle, this iconic installation sits somewhere between art and cinema – but is also simply a device for telling the time. It’s stitched together from hundreds of scenes featuring watches, clocks and other references to time, and Marclay has skilfully edited them to run together in sync. A second on screen equals a second of real time.
In assembling this project, Marclay collated more than 12,000 time-related clips from an array of films and TV shows. Everything from well-known thrillers, westerns, musicals and science-fiction dramas through to obscure art-house oddities went into the mix.
Taking images from more than 100 years of cinematic history, it’s a combination of pop-culture history, trainspotter’s treasure hunt and a gently unfolding dream as audiences recognise classic scenes and actors while being swept along by the hypnotic flow of time’s onward march.
Film fans can expect to see moments from films ranging from High Noon to V for Vendetta, Picnic at Hanging Rock to The Devil Wears Prada, Drop Dead Fred to The Bridges of Madison County – and literally thousands of others. They’ll also always know what time it is.
The exhibition runs from January 23 to March 10, with 24-hour screenings held each Thursday. ACMI warns that due to limited capacity visitors should be aware there may be significant waiting times and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis – so mark your time in the calendar.
If you visit on February 3 you'll also catch a free performance. A dance response to The Clock, choreographed and performed by Lucy Guerin Inc, will run at 2pm.
Thanks to a partnership with Nowness.com, visitors waiting to view The Clock will be able to enjoy a curated playlist of contemporary video works on ACMI’s groundfloor screen.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of ACMI.