Christian Marclay’s The Clock: New Art Exchange

This year, Nottingham is playing host to The British Art Show 7 , the five-yearly exposition of the best the British art world has to offer. There are some strong (and not so strong) pieces across the three sites (Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Castle and the New Art Exchange) which all make for interesting viewing.

But the stand out piece for me is Christian Marclay’s The Clock, a 24-hour-long film meticulously made up of film and television clips each telling the time, either with clocks or people announcing it and it is played out in real time.

Everyone will recognise at least some of the clips – from Laurel and Hardy to Twin Peaks right through to Inspector Morse and the X-Files. It cuts across time zones, genre, high and low art, comedy, drama and much more. But the over-arching theme is the perpetual movement of time. There are even some scenes where there is no clock – just someone looking at a clock – and it reminds us of how time structures and gives meaning to our lives.

Some of the clips also cross reference each other and although there is a sense that time is in perpetual motion, but themes and ideas – not least the over-arching theme of time – constantly recur and refer back to the past.

There will be a 24-hour screening of the film on 10th December from 10am. It finishes at 10am on 11th December and admission is free.

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