Saturday, 19 March 2011

In the Days of the Comet

In London, where I have been at the Hayward Gallery to see British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet. The star of this show, for me, is Christian Marclay. His latest work The Clock is a 24-hour long montage of many thousands of film fragments that show clocks, watches or have characters reacting to a particular time of day. It works as a timepiece, being synchronised to local time. It is brilliantly edited, both visually and as a soundscape, and is really addictive - the hours fly by. The film ebbs and flows with climaxes around each hour as ticking clock plot devices come to a head. The midday section is particularly tense (and it's not just High Noon).

From a food angle, lunch starts on screen at 12.20pm. Mostly lunch is finished by 2pm, with a few acceptions (e.g., De Niro throwing his steak across the room in Raging Bull at around 2.30pm). Drinks become an issue around 2pm (i.e., are you going to drink all afternoon or are you going to do something about this?). Food is rarely show in movies at times outside of regular meal times.

Here's a BBC news item featuring The Clock:

Incidentally, the Hayward is crammed so full of art (around 40 artists are featured) that the coffee/snackbar that is sometimes situated inside the gallery is not open for this show. Fuel up before you go in!

British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London (until 17 April 2011):

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