Christian Marclay
Video Quartet, 2002

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.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Video Quartet
Artist name
Christian Marclay
Date created
video installation
four-channel video projection, color, with sound, 13 min.
dimensions variable
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of the artist and the Paula Cooper Gallery; commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg with the generous support of the James Family Foundation
© Christian Marclay
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Christian Marclay

See other works by Christian Marclay

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