Christian Marclay: The Clock

Tate Modern. On until 20 Jan 2019

Video art installations, especially ones created that run as a long loop in a darkened room, either take a leap of faith, a knowledge and love of the artist’s work, or a creative concept that captures the imagination and entrances the public.

The Clock falls into the last category and the concept, whilst deceptively simple, must have been a curating and editing headache. Find film clips from throughout the history of film which visually or aurally reference a specific time – often shots of analogue or digital clocks literally showing the seconds and minutes ticking away – and edit over 12,000 clips together such that you have a 24 hour film where the time shown on screen is the real time as you watch.

The result is a bewitching work which lured you into the dark, seated on a three seater sofa, in a room in Tate Modern’s new-ish extension.

It then becomes one of the hardest games of spot-the-film-clip and or actor. And a lot of fun. And even if you’re not a film buff, you get comfortable and settle in for as long as you want.

It is totally worth any length of queue you find when you arrive. It is a free exhibit after all. So be patient and you will be rewarded. No food or drink allowed (apparently) although the temptation to smuggling in popcorn now feels quite overwhelming.

And as this piece rolls on 24 hours you can come in and relax and watch for a period, leave and return and get a completely different sequence of film clips.

And for superfans the Tate are running a few 24 hour screenings over two remaining weekends on 3 November and 1 December.

I went on a wet Sunday afternoon and absolutely loved it and heartily recommend it.

(Visited on 14/10)

15/20