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Christian Marclay in "London"

The artist and composer Christian Marclay works with the interplay of sound and images through a variety of media, ranging from performance to printmaking, video, and collage. Marclay recounts his artistic beginnings as an experimental DJ and musician without formal training, when he was influenced by conceptualism, musique concrète, punk rock, and the work of John Cage. These early experiments with sound and collaborations with artists from a diversity of backgrounds laid the foundation for Marclay’s “graphic scores,” his works that visualize sound through drawing, prints, and video and then transform those visuals back to audio experiences and performances. The segment surveys the extraordinary scope of an artist for whom “a lack of rigid rules is really important,” including an interactive installation composed of Snapchat videos, graphic depictions of onomatopoeias that are performed vocally, and a musical performance created by replicating pianists’ hand postures seen in photos. Unexpected, playful, and often challenging, Marclay’s work is an investigation into our contemporary visual and audio culture.

More information and credits


Executive Producer: Tina Kukielski. Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Director & Producer: Ian Forster. Editor: Morgan Riles. Director of Photography: Andrew Kemp.

Assistant Curator: Danielle Brock. Design & Animation: Momentist, Inc. Composer: Joel Pickard. Additional Art21 Staff: Lauren Barnett, Lolita Fierro, Joe Fusaro, Meghan Garven, Jonathan Munar, and Emma Nordin. Narration: Okema T. Moore.

Additional Photography: Jarred Alterman, Joshua Bagnall, Bryan Chang, Matt Conway, Pau García Laita, Christoph Lerch, Jonnie Lewis, John Marton, and Rafael Salazar Moreno. Assistant Camera: Santi Arcos, Alex Rozerot Kirkwood, Oliver Richardt, Charlie Stoddart, Matt Ward, Yifan Wen, and Ava Wiland. Location Sound: Simon Forrester, Tim Hodge, Sean Millar, Annie Needham, and James Page. Beijing Field Producer: Vicky Du. Production Assistants : Jonathan Batty, Adam Roberts, and Rialda Zukic.

Digital Intermediate: Cut + Measure. Post-Production Producer: Alex Laviola. Colorist: Chris Ramey. Post-Production Sound Services: Konsonant Post. Re-Recording Mixer & Sound Editor: Gisela Fullà-Silvestre. Online & Conform: David Gauff. Additional Animation: Andy Cahill. Assistant Editors: Jasmine Cannon, Jonah Greenstein, and Mengchen Zhang. Descriptive Video Information: Captionmax. Public Relations: Cultural Counsel.
Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Barbara T. Hoffman, Esq.

Artwork Courtesy: John Akomfrah, Phyllida Barlow, © Anish Kapoor. DACS, London / ARS, NY 2020, Christian Marclay, Black Audio Film Collective, Hauser & Wirth, Lisson Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, Smoking Dogs Films, and White Cube. Additional Music: “Craft” & “Pandora’s Box” by Christian Marclay; Atavistic Records.

Interns: Shane Daly, Grace Doyle, Eda Li, Daniela Mayer, Jason Mendoza, Nikhil Oza, Anika Rahman, Ana Sanz, Sara Schwartz, Victoria Xu, and Sadie Yanckello.

Archival Materials: BlackBoxGuild; Teri Bloom; British Council; Jacob Burckhardt; © Paula Court; CriticalPast; Paul Crosby; Adrian Gaut; Alexander Gold; Andy Haslam; Intermezzo FIlms / Luc Peter; Pierce Jackson; Lucerne Festival; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Pond5; SandenWolff, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY; Jared Schiller; Snapchat; © Tate; © The Eva Hesse Estate; The Kitchen Archive, ca. 1971–1999; The Getty Research Institute; Whitechapel Gallery Archive; White Cube; © Whitney Museum of American Art, 2010.

Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees; Lucy Adams; Ashitey Akomfrah; Anthony Allen; Barlow studio assistants; Alison Burstein; CAFA Art Museum; Anna Cerdà i Callís; Clare Chapman; Coriander Studio; Cultureshock Media; Des Moines Art Center; Susan Doyon; Raena Franklin; Gibbs Farm; Emma Gifford-Mead; Elissa Goldstone; Nora Gomez-Strauss; Lina Gopaul; Melissa Saenz Gordon; Tim Griffin; Louise Hayward; Mackie Healy; Shelley Hirsch; Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; ICA Boston; Jupiter Artland; Kapoor studio assistants; Esther Knuth; Betsy Lack; David Lawson; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Jon Lowe; Millennium Park, City of Chicago; Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Republic of Ghana; Tessa Morefield; David Moss; Capucine Perrot; Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery; Elizabeth Robert; Royal Academy of Arts; Dread Scott; Somerset House; Tate Britain; Venetia Tate; Times Square Arts; Sophie Treharne Nurse; Venice Biennale; Lucy Wilkinson; Nora Woodin; and Allison Wruble.

Major underwriting for Season 10 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, Lambent Foundation, The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Toby Devan Lewis, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Henri Lambert, Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman, and Sakana Foundation.

Series Creators: Susan Dowling and Susan Sollins.

©2020 Art21, Inc.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Christian Marclay

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.

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