September 16–December 31, 2011

The Clock

Christian Marclay

A mesmerizing work of video art that captures the dynamic nature of time

A compelling new work created by world-renowned artist Christian Marclay, The Clock (2010), an ode to time and cinema, comprises thousands of fragments from a range of films that create a 24-hour, looped, single-channel video. The Clock tells the accurate time at any given moment, and wherever it is screened it is synchronized to the local time zone, so that it is literally a working time piece. The Clock, a recent Museum acquisition, screens to coincide with the opening of the MFA’s new Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.

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 reveals yet unravels 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 stretch 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.

24-Hour Screenings

Friday, September 16, 4 pm–Saturday, September 17, 4 pm

Saturday, September 17, 7 pm–Sunday, September 18, 7 pm

Sunday, October 9, 4 pm–Monday, October 10, 4 pm

Screening during regular Museum hours

Monday, September 19–Saturday, December 31, 2011

During regular Museum hours, admission to The Clock is included in the price of Museum admission.

From 4:45 pm October 9 through 10 am October 10, when The Clock will be the only gallery open, all visitors must enter through the State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance. Admission fees will be waived for this 24-hour viewing.

Note: For all screenings, there are no reservations and seating is first-come, first-served. The Loring Gallery is arranged with couches and room for standing to accommodate a total of 48 visitors at a time.

Visitors leaving Loring Gallery for any reason give up their seats to The Clock and will have to rejoin the gallery's admission line for re-entry. No food and beverages permitted. No photography or recording. Please turn off or mute cell phones.

Above: still from Christian Marclay's The Clock, 2010. Single channel video (color, sound). Edward Linde Fund. Jointly owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the National Gallery of Canada. © the artist. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography. Courtesy White Cube, London and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.