Christian Marclay: Return Engagements

One of “The 10 Most Important Artists of Today.”


Christian Marclay has developed several projects with Graphicstudio over the last six years and values Graphicstudio for its collaborative studio environment.


The Swiss-American artist explores the relationship between visual and sonic phenomena through his work in collage, sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance and printmaking. In his London studio he produced a 24-hour video, The Clock which has attracted lines that go around the block in the world’s art centers and made him a standout at the Venice Biennale where he won this year’s Golden Lion for Best Artist. Right before that illustrious moment in Italy, Marclay was named one of “The 10 Most Important Artists of Today” by Newsweek Magazine (Daily Beast).


During his multiple residencies at Graphicstudio, Marclay has fully utilized the talents of the Graphicstudio research faculty and their expertise in a variety of media. He expanded on Graphicstudio’s capabilities for creating cyanotypes and pushed this 19th century medium to new dimensions. This series of works is documented in a new book co-published with Swiss publisher JRP Ringier.


“First developed in the 1840’s, the cyanotype is a cameraless photographic process created by placing objects directly onto a photosensitive surface, resulting in a silhouetted image similar to a photogram,” explained Graphicstudio Director Margaret Miller. “They are commonly known as ‘blueprints’ because of their distinctive Prussian blue color. Marclay‘s cyanotypes are impressions of abstract tangles made of unspooled cassette tapes that invite comparison with leading 20th century artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jackson Pollock.”


Marclay has a long history of creating collages in a variety of media. Using paper, comic books, fabric and even audio and video, he finds ways to make something entirely new. He has expressed his enjoyment of “…blurring the boundaries between music and art, sound and image, structure and chaos. The everyday embraces them all.” And he often does it with a sense of humor referencing both the past and the present.


For his most recent projects with Graphicstudio, he has used collage techniques for several projects including a series of hanging scrolls made with digital prints and fabric constructions and a 60-foot scroll titled Manga Scroll made of onomatopoeias – the “pows” “bams” and “booms” – derived from Japanese comic books.


Manga Scroll was part of an exhibition in a major survey of Marclay’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the summer of 2010. It was performed by vocalist, composer and performance artist Shelley Hirsch as part of a number of performances based on Marclay’s scores. Marclay returns to USF on Jan. 26, 2012 to perform Manga Scroll with Hirsch in the new School of Music Concert Hall. The two will also perform Zoom Zoom – a visual/audio improvisation where Marclay picks and chooses images from his collection of photo-onomatopoeias followed by vocal responses from Hirsch.