Artist Blog Post: Christian Marclay


As a Swiss American visual artist and composer whose multidisciplinary work encompassed performance, sculpture, and video, Christain Marclay is a profound artist. His art tends to be  thought of as “imaginatively exploring the physical and cultural intersections between sound and image, often through the deconstruction and recontextualization of recorded media and its associated materials.” He explained, “I’ve always been interested in how sound is visualized,” That being said, in 1979 he began exploring sound by manipulating turn tables (old vinyl records), and also explored his interest in a related abstract concept, time, by compiling clips from an enormous range of films into a 24-hour single-channel video titled The Clock (2010). Below you can watch some of the clips from his famous film:


Something cool about The Clock is that Marclay arranged the clips in order of the minute each one marked, and in exhibition the work was synchronized with the actual local time. For its virtuosic composition and its mesmerizing effect on viewers, The Clock was widely celebrated, and its presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2011 earned Marclay the Golden Lion for best artist.

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Above are some of his exhibitions. I really enjoyed looking into Christian’s art because he combines music, film and also photography to create an interesting medium. Most art I feel as if I can not connect with, but after watching some of his film and also learning how he used turntables to create art, i thought it was amazing and extremely innovative. As a musician myself, sometimes it is hard to branch out of the classical box that so many musicians force on you, however Christian jumped out of that box and did his own and expiremented and just enjoyed music- which is something I think some artists don’t do enough. Although Christian gained attention and fame from mostly his films, I enjoy him as an artist for his vision for music. Below is a song I really enjoyed that he “created” or produced.



In 1991, he produced his Body Mix series where he comment on the commodification of popular music, various album covers on which human bodies are displayed are stitched together to form alien or sort of mutated bodies. The influence of Marcel Duchamp was evident in how he hilariously transfigured musical instruments in Lip Lock (2000). In Lip Lock Christian fused the mouthpieces of a tuba and a trumpet. Again, this work of his was said to be influential of Dunchamp. Below is a picture of the altered Tuba from Lip Lock. 

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I thought this was interesting because he seemed to fuse two instruments into one another. I think that this idea of his is very innovative, but simple and exciting at the same time. I love how his art is reflected through music, and musical instruments. It’s so exciting and this tuba seems to look very elegant, even though it could be seen as mutated. As a music major, Lip Lock was very interesting to learn about. I thought this tuba was a really cool piece of art because where the second smaller tuba is was where you were supposed to create music, however because he blocked the mouth piece the combined instrument can not be played. I am curious to understand why he made a piece that can not be played, but only admired. I think that I liked this tube a lot, however I am more moved by how he created music with the turn tables. For me, Lip Lock is interesting to look at and to learn about, but I think that art is about pulling at your inner emotions and to grasp deeper meaning within something. I don’t feel connected to this, but I did feel a deep connection to his alternative musical art.


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