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Christian Marclayartist sheet 39/78

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His materials are all forms of music and sound. His works take the form of photographs, collages, sculptures, installations, videos, and performances. Using found objects, he also composes scores that he then gives to musicians to play.

PerformanceProcess Basel 2017-2018
fri 26 Jan 2018
1
19-20h
MÉTA-CONCERT (2018)Musée Tinguely

New performance by Christian Marclay, with cellist Okkyung Lee and percussionist Luc Müller, linked to Jean Tinguely's work.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse 18.09-13.12.15
tue 17 Nov 2015
1
20h
Ephemera (2009)Centre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Christian Marclay

Played by pianist Jacques Demierre.
Ephemera is the result of the accumulation, over many years, of eclectic and musical notations gathered here and there from advertisements, illustrations, menus, and so on. These ephemera have been assembled, then photographed and reproduced as a series of 28 folios. Based on this set of printed patterns, Christian Marclay has created a musical score of the same name, intended to be played by professional musicians.

2
20h
Shuffle (2007)Centre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Christian Marclay

Played by harpist Hélène Breschand.
Shuffle is a book that takes the form of a giant pack of cards, each printed with a different photograph. Like a Fluxus box, a random composition by John Cage or a Charles and Ray Eames construction set, the cards offer a visual experience but are also intended to be played like a score. The set also includes explanations and instructions by the artist.

Exhibitions

His materials are all forms of music and sound. His works take the form of photographs, collages, sculptures, installations, videos, and performances. Using found objects, he also composes scores that he then gives to musicians to play.

60 years of performance art in Switzerland museum Tinguely, 20.09.2017 - 28.01.2018

Gestures (vidéo, 1999)

The four films that make up Gestures show Marclay's hand as it scratches, claws, and reverses the rotation of vinyl records. His gestures alienate the recording process and transform the LPs into sound instruments.

VIDEO AND PERFORMANCE SHOOTING COMPILATION (TOTAL LENGTH 25'39'')

Record Payers, 1984
Les Sortilèges – In Bann des Zaubers (extract), Marshal Theater, Munich, 1996
One Hundred Turntable Orchestra (extract), Tokyo Panasonic Hall, 1991
Berlin Mix (extract), Strassenbahndepot, Berlin, 1993
Smash Hits, The Kitchen, New York, 1991
Ghost (I don’t live today), The Kitchen, New York, 1985
Dead Stories (extract), The Performing Garage, New York, 1986
Fast Music, extract from Commercial Eruptions, film by Yoshiko Chuma, 1982

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre culturel suisse 18.09-13.12.2015

VIDEO AND PERFORMANCE SHOOTING COMPILATION (TOTAL LENGTH 25'39'')

Record Players, 1984
Les Sortilèges – In Bann des Zaubers (extract), Marshal Theater, Munich, 1996
One Hundred Turntable Orchestra (extract), Tokyo Panasonic Hall, 1991
Berlin Mix (extract), Strassenbahndepot, Berlin, 1993
Smash Hits, The Kitchen, New York, 1991
Ghost (I don't live today), The Kitchen, New York, 1985
Dead Stories (extrait), The Performing Garage, New York, 1986
Fast Music, extract of Commercial Eruptions, movie by Yoshiko Chuma, 1982

Ephemera (2009)

Presented in the Focus Christian Marclay
Played by pianist Jacques Demierre.
Ephemera is the result of the accumulation, over many years, of eclectic and musical notations gathered here and there from advertisements, illustrations, menus, and so on. These ephemera have been assembled, then photographed and reproduced as a series of 28 folios. Based on this set of printed patterns, Christian Marclay has created a musical score of the same name, intended to be played by professional musicians.

Shuffle (2007)

Presented in the Focus Christian Marclay
Played by harpist Hélène Breschand.
Shuffle is a book that takes the form of a giant pack of cards, each printed with a different photograph. Like a Fluxus box, a random composition by John Cage or a Charles and Ray Eames construction set, the cards offer a visual experience but are also intended to be played like a score. The set also includes explanations and instructions by the artist.

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biography

Born in 1955, lives in London.
A maker of sculptures, photographs, videos and installations, Christian Marclay has, since his art studies in Geneva and at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, constantly given music a predominant role in his work. He is considered a pioneer of the instrumental use of record players to create sound collages. Marclay began his musical exploration with the series Recycled Records (1980 – 1986), fragmented and reassembled records that became hybrid objects making distorted sounds. The borrowing, sampling and quoting that characterise his work connects him to Dada and Marcel Duchamp and recalls the emancipating approach of Fluxus, as well as the strategies of pop art the “Do It Yourself” attitude of the punks. Among his landmark projects are his performance Everyday at the Biennale in Berne (2014) and the Ruhr Triennale in Bochum (2012); and The Clock (2010), a 24 hour video installation that earned him the Golden Lion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and which has since been shown in some of the world's leading museums.

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Sound and vision, hand in hand

Sound is his raw material. A turntablist before the term existed, he is both a performer and composer. ...

Sound is his raw material. A turntablist before the term existed, he is both a performer and composer.

It's true that Christian Marclay produced sounds by playing around with vinyl records in the 1970s, a time when youngsters in the Bronx were starting to mix-and-scratch on twin turntables: a discipline later dubbed turntablism. Except that the young man didn't have much interest in hip-hop. Born in 1955, he went to the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Geneva before continuing his studies in Boston and New York. Nurtured by the work of Fluxus, he frequented the most experimental New York clubs. Sound soon became his principal raw material.

The CCS presents a short video from 1984, Record Players, where unnamed individuals manhandle records by rubbing them and waving them frantically in front of them like fans. There is a strong sense of urgency in this piece. The disc is no longer the fragile medium for a recording by named musicians; instead it becomes an instrument in its own right. Also on show, on a more temporary basis, will be the video installation entitled Gestures (1999), which bears strong witness to the spirit of these vinyl years. It features four discs on four monitors arranged in a square, coloured circles in the centre of black circles, and Christian Marclay's hands coming and going across the surface of the discs, pushing them the wrong way and giving rise to new sounds. Here, scratches are made deliberately instead of being dreaded accidents.

“I stopped working with discs and turntables because they made it too complicated to travel. I look for other ways of making music, of being involved in the world of music.” For example, with scores and musical notations. It is important to him to leave a lot of room for improvisation, both in his own performances and in compositions offered to musicians chosen for their ability to find their rightful place in the process. “I'm not a real composer; I provide a framework, a springboard. I don't even say how long the piece should be.” He has clearly established a relationship of trust with Jacques Demierre, who will be performing Ephemera, a score based on visual documents gathered over the years: musical scales and treble clefs on restaurant menus, sweet wrappers, and so on. The Geneva-born musician tackles the artist's scores once again. “In May, with the baBel ensemble, he did some outstanding work at a festival in Bologna,” enthuses Marclay. The same climate of trust has been developed with the harpist Hélène Breschand whowill be performing Shuffle the same evening. She has already played this game of 75 cards based on musical notations collected in day-to-day situations. “I've also brought Shuffle out as a boxed game—but I don't know what the hundreds of people who've bought it actually do with it.”

This autumn, Christian Marclay has an exhibition at the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, focusing on onomatopoeia. In recent years he has worked on a number of visual or sound exercises based on sounds such as “broom-broom!”, “splash!” and “bong!” used in cartoons and already appropriated by the exponents of Pop Art. Zoom Zoom is a performance piece based on words printed in advertisements and on packaging. “The vocalist Shelley Hirsch is the only person I can share this with,” he says. “I give her a picture, then I react to what she does by giving her another one, and so on”. Another kind of rapport exists between John Armleder and Christian Marclay. At the CCS they will be performing an inspired duet we saw at the Écal last year. This is a deadpan performance of John Cage, George Brecht and La Monte Young, as well as some of their own original work, for instance Marclay's Turntable Toss (1985), which involves throwing a working turntable around, giving Bernese folk tunes and other recorded music a serious case of the hiccups.

 

Élisabeth Chardon, arts columnist who writes for Le Temps

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