Upper West Side, NYC
It is rare to see New Yorkers waiting with extreme enthusiasm and zen in long lines, particularly when the object of their excitement is a single work of art. Yet on Saturday, Christian Marclay's "The Clock" achieved the improbable: a year after opening to fanatical crowds in Chelsea, the 24-hour video mosaic is back, surrounded by a storm of critical and public excitement, and fanatical, Bieber concert-esque lines have materialized again. Before slipping into the David Rubinstein Atrium myself - for the allowed admittance of anywhere between the five minutes and twenty-four hours, as I had no plans and the town was my oyster - I shot portraits of a few zen New Yorkers, waiting patiently, time-keeping devices in tow, to see "The Clock".
Unlike many works of collage, which highlight the textural and contextual differences of found materials - the sassy social commentaries of Richard Hamilton come to mind (see above) - "The Clock" (below) is more of a gentle mosaic. The camera, for example, follows Stéphane Audran's gaze out of a white window, in instantly recognizable 70's color, and onto Martin Vaughan, bathing in the lush sunshine of a Victorian afternoon. He stands tall, surrounded by three Victorian ladies sprawled on the grass. Dreaming of her diamond watch, one of the ladies looks up, and there the camera finds a 'seconds' hand crawling in circles around a 90's clock before returning to her pale face. Even when Michael Sheen experiences a delightfully bizarre orgasm in a film I could not identify, after much research that has now tarred my Google search history, we feel this scene and others flow subtly out of one another. Marclay's segues rarely have punchlines.
"The Clock" (see a still from the film above) will be on view at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center through August 1st. To avoid the crowds, and spend your time gazing at "The Clock" and not your own clock, check out Lincoln Center's live feed of current wait times. But, if you do visit during "rush hour" be sure to talk to your neighbors: you never know who you'll meet in line.