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New Works: 99.4
About the Artist
New York-based Christian Marclay was born in 1955 in San Rafael, CA and grew up in
Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied at the Ecole Supˇrieure d'Art Visuel , eventually
moving to the United States to complete his BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art.
Marclay's sculptures and installations have been exhibited in museums and galleries
internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art at
Phillip Morris, New York, NY; Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland; Musˇe d'Art et
d'Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland, Fri-Art Centre d'Art Contemporain Kunsthalle,
Fribourg, Switzerland; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and
The Clocktower/PS 1, New York, NY. His work was also included in the 1999 and 1995
Venice Biennales and the 1991 Whitney Biennial.
Marclay has been performing and recording music as an integral part of his work
since 1979. Using phonograph records as his "musical instruments," he mixes altered
records on multiple turntables in a display of precise and abusive manipulations. He has
performed throughout Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States and has collaborated
with many composers and musicians including Elliott Sharp, John Zorn, the Kronos
Quartet and Sonic Youth.
The relationship between sound and image is central to Marclay's work. His work
consistently plays with music and musical instruments, as well as the visualization of
music. He has made sculptures from discarded CDs, melted vinyl records, sewn record
covers together to create mixed media works and created installations with works
depicting musical instruments from museum collections.
About the Installation
At ArtPace, Marclay has generated new bodies of work, which continue his
investigations of the role music plays in culture. The artist has looked to ArtPace's
immediate neighbor as a location for exhibiting his new work. Alamo Music Center, a
store selling musical instruments, is the site for viewing custom-made instruments of
Marclay's design: a drum set that has been altered with cymbals and drums positioned at
heights corresponding to their tonal qualities and a customized 12-foot long accordion.
These "instruments" are displayed in the store's showroom.
Marclay's work presented at ArtPace consists of Christmas music records collected
from San Antonio thrift shops and used record stores. The collection of a thousand
albums, which range from Perry Como and Dolly Parton to a collection of promotional
records distributed by True Value Hardware Stores form, an "archives-cum-lounge" of
discs which Marclay has invited local DJs to spin. The gallery is set up as a lounge, with
turntables and a sound system ready to mix schmaltzy holiday melodies into an
unpredictable cacophony of abstract music.
The involvement of San Antonio's music community is a crucial part of Marclay's
production at ArtPace. By shifting functions of spaces and institutions, Marclay blurs the
lines between the music and art disciplines. As media saturates our cultural landscape
and image and sound are increasingly combined, Marclay offers a pause to consider how
music is visualized and how the visual becomes sonic.
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