It binds us unaware from the moment we our born until the moment we depart. Gripping our minds and bodies it leaves its mark of memories and wrinkles. We do our best to keep up with it and mostly we fail. It continues while we stop, panting.
It runs, it flies, it sails. The best the human race has done to keep up with it is Bolt and Christian Marclay.
Surely you’ve heard of Usain Bolt and no explanation is needed.
But you may not yet be aware of Christian Marclay and The Clock.
In The Clock, Christian Marclay has carefully selected clips from thousands of movies and brilliantly edited them. The old faces of pocket watches, aging grandfather clocks, their pendulums still in full swing, mantel clocks, lantern clocks and digital clocks, tell the story of each passing moment, creating a twenty-four hour movie of time’s passage.
But the journey is deeper than that. Because between the seconds that join the clips of time, whether digital or analog, are moments that have lived on the screen, some in fame, some in obscurity. A cowboy on the rooftop of a saloon aiming his pistol at the cowboy below who is still unaware of his perhaps imminent death.
And we want to know more. The music score and the plot tell us so. But really there is no plot. The only plot is the passage of time that is set to our own reality and time zone. While watching The Clock we will always know what time it is. We will always be aware.
And here is the paradox. The Clock is nothing more than an enhanced version of our own watch. Except that by watching time we lose track of it. Marclay has brilliantly created suspense where there is no one coherent story being played out. The only plot is time itself and as we sit there watching the moments pass, we lose track of the time that is staring us in the face.
This is an exhibition whose profundities you want to experience.
So bolt to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Because you only have until October 19th.