Image of four projected screens featuring musical instruments and singersChristian Marclay (b. 1955). Video Quartet, 2002. Four‑channel video projection, color, sound, 17 min. 96 × 480 in. (243.8 × 1219.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 2005.171. © Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Christian Marclay: Video Quartet

October 28, 2017 – January 14, 2018

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Since the 1980s, Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay has sampled, improvised, and remixed sound, video, and performance into astonishing works that defy categorization. Marclay’s seventeen-minute installation, Video Quartet, consists of four synchronized videos shown on adjoining screens, each with its own soundtrack. Video Quartet is made up of more than 700 individual fragments of film and sound from popular movies in which characters play instruments, sing, or make noise in one way or another. Marclay reorganized the clips on a home computer into a new unified composition in which the performers seem to improvise together free of their original context. The clips included in Video Quartet are primarily taken from Hollywood feature films dating from the 1920s to the early twenty-first century. The work opens with scenes of an orchestra tuning up, followed by clips in which characters play instruments or sing, interspersed with scenes featuring shouts, screams, and close-ups of various noise-making objects.

This exhibition is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by: