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Two Museums Buy That Really Cool, Real-Time, 24-Hour Movie Clip Montage, “The Clock”

Two Museums Buy That Really Cool, Real-Time, 24-Hour Movie Clip Montage, "The Clock"

“The Clock,” the critically acclaimed 24-hour video montage comprised of thousands of movie clips of time references and is designed to screen in synchronized real time, has been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the National Gallery of Canada.

It’s a work by UK sound and video artist Christian Marclay, which will debut in Boston in its entirety as part of the unveiling of the MFA’s new contemporary wing September 17 and 18.

From the release:

“The Clock—an ambitious installation Marclay compiled thousands of film clips of wristwatches, clock towers, sundials, alarm clocks, and countdowns, among other things, each of which convey a particular moment that is used to illustrate every minute in a 24-hour period. Several years in the making, The Clock examines how time, plot, and duration are depicted in cinema. Although the audience can use the piece to tell the local time, viewers can experience a vast range of cinematic settings and moods within the space of a few minutes, making time unravel in countless directions and rupturing any sense of linear, narrative sequence. The work is both an homage to more than a century of film history and an affirmation of our present time.”

Here’s a piece about “The Clock” reported last November by BBC News:

Author Graham Dyer tells the BBC’s reporter: “It turns out to be a really great and profound essay on film and what film’s about. Just as you come out of certain films and your experience of the world has been reconfigured, so as you come out of this film and everything seems to be about time.”

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