Video artist Christian Marclay's 'The Clock' is the most original timepiece in the world because it's a film. A film that tells you the time by using every kind of movie that's ever had a shot of a clock, a character glancing at their watch or a bank robber muttering something like, 'It's now 2.29, the bomb will explode in 31 minutes!'.
The film runs for twenty-four hours - a mash up of black and white, Hollywood blockbuster, foreign language, schlock, glitz, tack (indeed, that is Jack Nicholson singing, ''It's three twenty five" to a glitter-eyed babe), art house, adventure, western, rom com, musical and drama.
The only narrative thread, is time, everything else is back story. The film's characters are telling, seeing, ignoring or responding to time as it happens. Yet these moments are fictions from source material that span over 80 years of film product. It's a dizzying concept made real via thousands of hours research on a spaghetti mountain of footage. For who can remember a great panning shot that features a clock from any film? Let alone the precise moment it happened.
It's tempting to say something clever about how 'The Clock' explores the fragmentation of time by deconstructing time's logic and rationality. I could even give it a psychoanalytic spin and see this work as a carnivalesque subversion of tyrannical super-ego 'father' time. A cocked-up clock, perhaps.
But what struck me most was the enormous pleasure this piece gives its audience. Just hear those gasps of pleasure at each audacious moment of time-revealing footage!
So remove your watch, sit back, and enjoy the ride of your life.