Paula Cooper Gallery
534 West 21st St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday at 10:00 am - Saturday at 6:00 pm
Through February 19, free
Last summer, the Whitney presented “Festival,” a thrilling interactive retrospective of the work of Christian Marclay, featuring multiple site-specific installations and live performances. The New York-based multidisciplinary artist has followed that up with a supreme work of utter brilliance, the captivating twenty-four-hour video THE CLOCK. Screened in a large, dark gallery with roomy, comfortable seats, the film unfolds in real time, composed of thousands of clips from movies and television that feature all kinds of clocks and watches showing the minutes ticking away. Masterfully edited so that it creates its own fluid narrative, THE CLOCK seamlessly cuts from romantic comedies with birds emerging from cuckoo clocks to action films in which protagonists synchronize their watches, from thrillers with characters battling it out in clock towers to dramas with convicted murderers facing execution and sci-fi programs with mad masterminds attempting to freeze time. Marclay mixes in iconic images with excerpts from little-known foreign works, so audiences are kept on the edge of their seats, wondering what will come next, laughing knowingly at recognizable scenes and gawking at strange, unfamiliar bits. Part of the beauty of THE CLOCK is that while time is often central to many of the clips, it is merely incidental in others, someone casually checking their watch or a clock visible in the background, emphasizing how pervasive time is — both on-screen and in real life. Americans spend an enormous amount of time watching movies and television, so THE CLOCK is also a wry though loving commentary on what we choose to do with our leisure time as well. Although it is not necessarily meant to be viewed in one massive gulp, THE CLOCK will be shown in its entirety on Fridays this month, February 4, 11, and 18, beginning at 10:00 am. Since the film corresponds to the actual time, midnight should offer some fascinating moments, although you might be surprised how exciting even three o’clock in the morning can be.