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Iconic artwork ‘The Clock’ is coming back to London

By Rosemary Waugh

This September sees the return to London of Christian Marclay’s cult work of contemporary art, 'The Clock'. The durational piece lasts 24 hours and will be shown for free at Tate Modern. The gallery plans to stay open overnight once a month so that visitors have the opportunity of watching it the whole way through.

But what’s so special about this installation? The basic idea behind Marclay’s creation is that it expertly splices together sections from films featuring the time. The work is then played so the time shown on screen is the same as it is for those watching (so, if it’s 9am on screen, it’s 9am irl).

That might not sound so exciting, but huge numbers of ‘Clock’-watchers find the work bizarrely mesmeric. In a non-wanky way, it draws attention to the passage of time and our constant obsession with it (ever freaked out when waiting more than 2 minutes for a tube to arrive? This is the artwork for you).

The Clock was first shown in 2010 and has since toured the globe. If you’re thinking of going (and you should), here’s an interesting fact: A 2010 New Yorker profile of the artist recorded him as sporting on his own wrist, ‘a cheap aluminum Swatch whose hands resemble pencils.’ 

The Clock is on from September 14 - January 20 at Tate Modern. Find out more here.  

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