Winter 1999 International Artist-in-Residence Program

Christian Marclay

About the exhibition

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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