An ode to time and cinema, Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) is a contemporary masterpiece comprised of thousands of fragments from television and film history—creating a 24-hour video shown in real time. At any given moment, the work displays the accurate time on screen, blurring the line between its fictional clips and reality. Synchronized to the local time zone, The Clock literally becomes a functioning timepiece. Every clip in the film shows a clock, mentions the time of day in the dialogue, or represents a metaphor of time. From Big Ben to Jack Nicholson, viewers can recognize iconic movies, actors, and clips from a century of films. The Museum first screened the work in 2011 following its joint acquisition by the MFA and the National Gallery of Canada.
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.