Telephones: by Christian Marclay

Museum of Art Museum of Art

Exhibition: Telephones: by Christian Marclay



Media Gallery
The exhibition introduces to American audiences Danish artist Per Kirkeby (b. 1938), one of Europe's most celebrated contemporary artists. The artist's roles as geologist, filmmaker, architect, writer, and poet are reflected in this survey of approximately 45 works. Kirkeby's paintings and sculptures are constantly in flux, maintaining a dialogue between art and science. Organized by the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., this is Per Kirkeby's first American retrospective. After the Phillips Collection, Bowdoin is the only other venue hosting this important show.


Before The Clock, the 24-hour filmic montage by Christian Marclay that proved to be a runaway international success in 2011, there wasTelephones (1995). A 7 1/2 minute compilation of Hollywood film clips, Telephones demonstrates the transformative power of Marclay’s editing. Using the narrative arc of a telephone call, he masterfully stitches together excerpts from well-known movies. A recent acquisition by the Museum, Telephones opens with scenes depicting characters dialing the telephone, an activity whose very mechanics, rhythms, and sonic properties have changed considerably with successive technologies. Artist and composer Christian Marclay crafts a new narrative from the fragments, one that offers astute observations on cinematic devices, but also outmoded social habits. In this mobile and interconnected age, the telephone, it seems, no longer serves as the site – physical and psychological – that it once did.