Christian MarclayAmerican (San Rafael, California, 1955)
Commissioned by SFMOMA, this four-channel video projection presents an intricate montage of film fragments showing people playing instruments, singing, or performing actions that generate noise (knocking on a door, for example). The projections are synchronized to produce a visual-musical composition in which the previously unrelated performers play together — a recontextualization that supersedes the actors' original, fictional context. In this instance, in addition to being a composer, the artist becomes the conductor of a multilayered auditory and visual sculpture, thus offering a unique blend of experiences of recorded time.
Constructing a coherent narrative (with music as a theme or purpose) out of found objects, images, or sounds is at the core of Marclay's creative process. From reassembled LP fragments to juxtaposed record covers, from remixes to montages, the artist engages the materials to produce new forms and thus new meanings. While he may appropriate fragments of other artists' work to create his own, Marclay tends to consider this process a form of collaboration.