Saturday, 2 March 2013

Roulette TV: Christian Marclay directed by Uri Gal-Ed

Initially a student at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Christian Marclay became more fascinated by the energy of punk rock music and the aesthetics of performance art as practiced by artists like Vito Acconci and Joseph Beuys. In 1980, he organized a festival called Eventworks to explore the influence of rock music on the art world, and began to make improvised performances with thrift store records to which he would attach objects to loop the tracks. In 1979, he discovered old audio-visual department-style turntables manufactured by Califone, and these became his "instruments". Marclay physically manipulates a wide variety of stylistically "meaningful" music, test tones, and sound effects recordings as well as surface scratches, clicks, skips and pops in his richly layered, transforming mixes. He has said that "in my work, the process is very important, to be able to see it and hear it", and this opportunity is provided in close detail as multiple cameras scan every movement of his engrossing, surreal performance. In a thought-provoking interview, he explains his "record without a cover" meant to age and over time (similar to Marcel Duchamp's "Large Glass"), how he marks and cuts the records ("scores") for his performances, describes the Guitar Drag, his visual works, and reminds listeners of the ephemerality of music.

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