During his walks around London, the artist, Christian Marclay is looking down and not up. He is looking at the discarded objects in search for the inspiration and the creation of his visual poetry. Christian Marclay exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco uses the streets of London and what he sees on its pavements, as the influence for the making of the displayed new images. The slogan ‘One man’s rubbish is the other man’s treasure’, is easily applicable here, since his new exhibition is comprised of the images of discarded cigarettes, cotton buds, straws, and bottle caps. These small objects are given a breath of life after they have been thrown away and claimed as unnecessary. We don’t get to know who threw them out, but we do get to see the magic that happens if the right person takes the right turn and finds these small, everyday objects.
Christian Marclay is both an artist and a composer. For him, the world that surrounds him holds endless possibilities for experimentation and creation. Known for his use of gramophone records and turntables as musical instruments to create the sound collages, Marclay for the occasion of his new exhibition Six New Animations, uses thousands of images of the payment beneath his feet, routinely snapped photographs of commonly discarded objects he finds during his walks. By the small intervention and editing of these images, Marclay has created six new animations, six new collages of the London streets and its pavements. With these animations, the artist opens a new view on the concept of street photography and explores the video and animation media.
The fast-paced streets, echo in the flickering images of the new animations. The static photographs, that are the base of the works, are played back in rapid succession giving the illusion of motion. Burned cigarettes grow back, the cotton buds wiggle, and the colorful bottle caps flash and blend. Unlike the traditional animations, where the setting is consistent and the objects move in it, the artist has shifted the movement onto the background that flickers and rapidly changes. These flickering images can be traced back to the flipbooks, early cinema, and animation devices of the late nineteenth century.
Setting the discarded trails of rubbish into motion, and giving the modest everyday objects new life, Christian Marclay transforms his chance encounters with trash and uses his daily routine to create his new, animated visual poetry. With his new work, the artist shifts the look to the ground and creates for the public a blown-up look of a micro-space that we would all just walk past not noticing the potential that the discarded objects hold. On view at the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, between April 28th to June 25th, 2016, Marclay’s exhibition Six New Animations shows the richness of the world around us and pays homage to the smallest objects that we easily discard. Maybe this exhibition will make us all think about what we are throwing out.
All images courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and the artist. Featured images in slider: Christian Marclay - Cigarettes, 2016 (video still), Single-channel projected animation, silent, continuous loop, © Christian Marclay, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Christian Marclay - Cotton buds, 2016 (video still), Single-channel projected animation, silent, continuous loop, © Christian Marclay, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Christian Marclay - Straws, 2016 (video still), Single-channel projected animation, silent Continuous loop, © Christian Marclay, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Christian Marclay - Straws, 2016 (video still) Single-channel projected animation, silent Continuous loop, © Christian Marclay, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
San Francisco, United States of America