2012 TIME 100 Includes Artist Christian Marclay

© Christian Marclay / Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
© Christian Marclay / Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Tape Fall, 1989

Sitting atop a ladder, a reel-to-reel recorder plays the sound of running water. The tape, instead of catching onto a second reel, cascades down the height of the ladder as it advances. The sculpture, which is continually reloaded with new tape, plays for the duration of the show and creates an ever-growing pile of ribbons.

Our annual TIME 100 magazine issue takes stock of the 100 most influential people of the year, and this year that list included Christian Marclay, the artist behind the highly-regarded video piece The Clock. That piece is only one highlight from the artist’s varied career— which extends itself in across an array of mediums, from sound and performance, to photography and sculpture—some of his other work is featured in the gallery above.

Geoff Dyer—whose many books include The Ongoing Moment, a series of essays about photography—wrote about Marclay for TIME:

© Christian Marclay / Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and White Cube, London; Installation Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

Installation view of The Clock at White Cube Mason's Yard, London (Oct. 15 – Nov. 13, 2010)

Wherever it has been shown, Christian Marclay’s The Clock has been met with a rare combination of critical approval and public affection—love, even. The idea was audacious in its simplicity and herculean in execution: take moments in films when people are interacting with time—looking at their watches, hurrying to intercept the 3:10 to Yuma or hanging on to the hands of Big Ben—and splice them together in such a way that they unfold in real time over 24 hours, so that the whole thing becomes an accurate (to the minute) timepiece. During the film’s opening run in London, I had intended to stay long enough to get the gag—10 minutes?—before hurrying on to a lunch date. It was so hypnotic, so thrilling, that I ended up watching 20 hours over a month, arranging life and appointments (for which I was invariably late) in such a way as to catch previously unseen segments of that celluloid epic called a day.

Read more about this year’s most influential people in the TIME 100.

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