‘The New Yorker’ Profiles Christian Marclay, Almost Gives a Full Plot Description of ‘The Clock’

The New Yorker has a wonderful, detailed profile of Christian Marclay, penned by Daniel Zalewski. It goes into intricate detail about the making of the artist’s 24-hour film, The Clock (and provides an impressively linear description—albeit with certain plot holes—which is no simple task). Regarding putting together a day-long montage culled from thousands of different clips from cinematic history, each related to the time of day, the article says:

At Marclay’s request, White Cube posted a “Help Wanted” sign at Today is Boring, a cinéaste  redoubt on Kingsland Road. Six young people were hired to watch DVDs and rip digital copies of any scene showing a clock or alluding to time. (Sophia Loren to Marlon Brando: “I can’t appear at eleven o’clock in the morning in an evening dress!”) Files were logged with search-friendly titles: 1124—kid waiting on streets/old man checks watch—Paper Moon.” The assistants recorded their discoveries on a Google spreadsheet, to avoid overlap. Since a rival version could be hastily crowd-sourced on the Internet, the assistants signed nondisclosure agreements.

There’re also some interesting details about Mr. Marclay’s negotiations with the many museums that purchased an edition of The Clock. Apparently, the Tate wanted him to sign a contract permitting curators to show the film in their massive Turbine Hall. The artist protested that the space has “the worst acoustics in the city of London.”

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