Christian Marclay

Biography of Christian Marclay

A pioneer of the fusion between audio culture and fine art, Christian Marclay is one of the most original and groundbreaking artists working today. Born in 1955, Marclay has even been celebrated as one of the inventors of turntablism, his use of turntables and records in the 1970s roughly coinciding with hip hop's use of the device.


Inspired by punk rock, Christian Marclay began making experimental songs and in 1979, unable to find a drummer, Marclay used the rhythms of a skipping record on a turntable for its percussive effect—one of the first recorded uses of this technique. Moving more into a fusion of fine art and sound, Marclay's record cover collages, Body Mix, 1991 featured many strange combinations such as blending Jim Morrison with underwear commercials—the effect is hilarious and highly memorable. More recently Marclay's The Clock from 2010 used thousands of edited fragments of clocks from movies to create a 24-hour video. An investigation into how time and plot is represented in cinema, the work is always synchronised with the local time zone of the location where it is being played.


Christian Marclay has been the feature of numerous shows and in 2011 had the honor of representing the U.S. at the Venice Biennale for which he won the Golden Lion. In 2015 a major solo exhibition in his gallery in London displayed a wide range of new work and involved performances from such figures as Thurston Moore and Micachu. He has had solo exhibitions at the Barbican, London in 2005 and Tate Modern in 2004. Incredibly influential and highly respected in the fields of both music and art, Marclay was even invited to exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2010. Marclay is an innovative and unique voice who has inspired an entire generation of theorists, musicians, and artists.

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