Before heading uptown to see The Clock by Christian Marclay, I stop into my local bar to read the New York Post and slam a few Schaefers. This bar has all of my prerequisites for a good bar: 1) no TV, 2) no Internet jukebox and 3) $2 beer. I decided a long time ago to treat myself to something special everyday, and unwinding at 11am in an old man bar is one of them.
Never mind the Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch and is totally right wing, what’s best about the New York Post is it’s all trash and tragedy. My favorite headline from yesterday’s paper was “Man Hit by Subway While Defecating on the Tracks”, in which a 31 year old man was hit and killed while taking a crap between cars on a moving 6 train. Oh, shit! Coincidentally at the same station, another man drunkenly fell onto the tracks and got a huge gash on his ass but lived. Oops! This subway drama comes after a rough couple of months of platform suicides and commuters being pushed in front of oncoming trains. Here’s a great cover:
Another classic one I came across:
Oh what the hell, you love it:
Finally en route to MoMA, I squeeze into a subway packed with kids and I remember reading around 15, 000 school bus drivers went on strike that day, the first time in over 3 decades. A lot of press has attacked the Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union for their “inconvenience” to students and parents. What the fuck do they expect when workers go on strike? Anyway I support the drivers, even though I hated school and the sight of that bus coming to pick me up every morning. And put yourself in the kids’ shoes, most of them get to stay home or play within the dark dingy maze of the subway system. They could even end up on the front page of the Post! (too soon?)
The Clock is a 24-hour film montage that borrows from thousands of movies featuring time-related scenes. The film is synced to local time, with the various clips that flash clocks, watches, or when the hour is spoken, all in real time. The film is a masterpiece in cinematic beauty, adventure and suspense. Marking the passage of time minute by minute, the collective snippets shape an unrivaled choreography of the moving image.
First debuted at White Cube in London three years ago, The Clock traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and here in New York the Paula Cooper Gallery, Lincoln Center and now the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
The Clock fills the audience with a sense of panic, an anxiousness that creates a subconscious mental ticking as each scene falls into perfect order in a marathon of sequence. Clip by clip, Marclay guides us through a world of bank robberies, shootouts, car chases or daily banality of nothing, all strung together by the shared minute in a 24-hour period. The film functions as a working clock, allowing the viewer to know just when they are entering, or leaving, in a looped movie that has no end but reminds us of our mortality. The Clock doesn’t allow you to fully lose yourself in the content and forces you, at each second, to remain conscious of time and it’s passing. Digital and analog alarms go off in the morning, sex a little later in the morning, cowboy shootouts by noon, more sex by evening and dreams by night. This collage of the past 100 years of cinema also shows some of the same actors more than once, the span of their careers trimmed to a few scenes as they age before us.
This hypnotic tapestry of events, people, places and moments is on view through Monday, with a full 24-hour screening this weekend. You’ll find me there, somewhere in the back with a few Schaefers and a folded up Post for the ride home.
Contributed by Dean Dempsey.