24 Hours Inside the Christian Marclay Installation ‘The Clock’

LONDON — Christian Marclay’s video installation “The Clock” is actually functional: The 24-hour montage of film as well as TV clips featuring clocks as well as watches actually tells the time.

the item also leads you through a century of cinema history, like a high-art type of the pop culture supercut. We go coming from the Marx Brothers to “The Matrix,” “Annie Hall” to “Zoolander.” There are several Sherlocks, many Bonds.

“The Clock” has become a sensation around the entire world since the item was first shown at the White Cube gallery in London in 2010. although given that will the clip-gathering was done by a team of movie-watchers from the city, its arrival at Tate Modern feels like something of a homecoming. (the item runs through Jan. 20, with 24-hour screenings on Nov. 3 as well as Dec. 1.)

Mr. Marclay insists that will any gallery that will wants to show “The Clock” must have some overnight screenings. “the item’s a work that will can be very deep if you want to dig into the item, spend more time with the item,” he told reporters at Tate Modern in September.

Clock-watching for 24 hours, literally, might sound like torture. although “The Clock” is actually strangely addictive, as well as visitors often stay much longer than they had intended. You can’t lose track of time, as well as yet somehow the item runs away coming from you.

The little-seen portion coming from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. was the trickiest to craft, Mr. Marclay explained: There simply aren’t that will many clips. Yet that will is actually also where the real-time identification by the viewer can be most profound. “I genuinely liked the idea of someone going in as well as out of sleep while watching these dream sequences, you become part of that will thing,” Mr. Marclay said. “that will’s the magic of that will piece: the item’s genuinely about you.”

The thought of bedding down for the duration is actually tempting, then, although also alarming: Will the item feel like time well spent, or time wasted? I went to Tate Modern’s 24-hour screening on Saturday, to watch my life tick away.

I slip off my shoes as well as settle on one of the white Ikea sofas that will fill the room. the item’s not long before I’ve seen the first of many clips coming from “Back to the Future.”

There’s a black-as well as-white chase through a London Underground station, intercut using a full-coloring race through a fresh York subway. the item’s typical of how Mr. Marclay stitches time together, finding sly visual rhymes across clips. There is actually real pleasure in following yet subverting cinematic grammar: A door opens in a scene coming from a silent comedy as well as a ’90s movie star walks through the item. Tea is actually poured in one decade as well as drunk in another; a bomb goes off as well as a petal softly lands.

A clip coming from “High Noon,” of course. The tension always ratchets up at the top of the hour — as well as then a sizable chunk of the audience leaves. the item’s hard to quit “The Clock;” the item tantalizes, yet never provides a narrative resolution, so you never feel sated. The hour striking offers an exit in a work of art with no beginning as well as no end.

Not that will everyone feels the thrill. from the daytime, a crowd of different ages as well as ethnicities flows in as well as out, some unmoving for hours, a few lasting only minutes.

Another classic: Orson Welles in “The Third Man” reflects on how “500 years of democracy as well as peace” in Switzerland produced only “the cuckoo clock.” Mr. Marclay is actually half Swiss, I remember; is actually “The Clock” a grand riposte to that will mocking of his nation’s invention?

The midafternoon slump hits. Perhaps because my body is actually busy digesting a sandwich, my brain’s ability to digest what’s going on in front of me fails. I watch time’s relentless march, although the item doesn’t feel even: the item can speed up, although right at that will point, the item’s slowed down. Next to me, a woman nods off.

No one onscreen seems satisfied with time either: They either have too much, or not enough. Everyone seems to be waiting, or rushing.

We’re outside Tate Modern’s normal hours at that will point, as well as there’s a fresh buzz around the place. A D.J. is actually playing from the bar downstairs — which is actually staying open all night — as well as there’s a line outside “The Clock” (maximum capacity: 150).

On screen, the evening is actually in full swing, too: Audrey Hepburn gives a party in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” as well as Tom Cruise causes havoc at a private view in “Cocktail” (Mr. Marclay enjoying the sendup of the art world, perhaps). as well as I’m having my own upswing too: Time has started off flying by again, as poor Julianne Moore is actually stood up by two different husbands, as well as Bill as well as Ted say, “Don’t forget to wind your watch.”

The line at 11:40 p.m. stretches down two flights of stairs; the average age has fallen to around 30, although a few people seem to have brought intrepid parents. the item appears that will every sharply-dressed hipster in London had the same thought: Get there for midnight. although the item’s so busy, most won’t.

They miss out on a thrilling, second-by-second countdown, cutting coming from birthday candles to the cancan to a punk concert. At the stroke of midnight, in a scene coming from “V for Vendetta,” Big Ben explodes.

Longer, more languorous scenes drift dreamily into each different at that will point, as characters battle insomnia, or nightmares. The room is actually still packed, with dedicated cineastes on the sofas as well as less-than-sober club kids sprawling on the floor, although others who have been here all day are clearly struggling: The soundtrack is actually augmented by surround-sound snoring.

By contrast, I feel surprisingly eager, as well as fully from the zone. I’ve always liked 3 a.m.; perhaps a quick freshener at that will all-night bar helped, too.