Christian Marclay was born in 1955 in San Rafael, California, and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. For more than thirty years, Marclay has explored the relationship between the visual and the audible through a variety of media, including sculpture, video, performance, collage, and music.
Marclay began his career in New York City’s East Village, where he was an early experimental DJ and musician, creating a series of works by destroying, collaging, and scratching vinyl records. Influenced by musique concrète, punk rock, and the work of John Cage, Marclay collaborated with a variety of artists, musicians, and performers during this time. The transformation of sound and musical objects into visuals and visuals back into audio experiences has been an important and ongoing part of the artist’s practice. Marclay’s signature playfulness with sound and image has become a feature of works such as Manga Scroll (2010), a sixty-five-foot-long collage of visual onomatopoeias meant to be performed aloud; Scream (2019), prints that collage together the vocal expressions of Japanese manga and Western comic-book characters; and 48 War Movies (2019), a video installation that cacophonously overlays the images and sounds of the titular number of war films. Marclay is best known for The Clock (2010), a work for which he collaged and sequenced views of clocks from a broad range of films to create a 24-hour video installation that also functions as a timekeeper. Collectively, his works tap into and comment on the subliminal power of mass visual and audio culture.
Marclay received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and studied at Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Geneva, Switzerland. Among other awards and honors, he has received the Contemporary Vision Award from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016) and The Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale (2011). Major solo exhibitions include Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California (2019); Venice Biennale, Italy (2011, 2019); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain (2019); Sapporo Art Museum, Japan (2017); Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland (2015); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2012); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2010); MoMA PS1, New York (2009); Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne (2007); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2006); Barbican Art Gallery, London, England (2005); and Tate Modern, London, England (2004). Marclay lives and works in London.