Friday, December 5, 2008

Marclay on Musics - Q&A @ National Post

New York and London based artist Christian Marclay is well known for his works about music. Last week as a touring exhibition of his works opened at the DHC/ART in Montreal, I got him on the phone to chat. The condensed interview was published in today's National Post. Read on after the jump or click here to partake.

The Sight of Music
National Post, Dec 5 2008

With Britney Spears' second comeback album in as many years being released this week, many are musing on the hoped-for connection between brilliance and breakdown. Interestingly, international artist Christian Marclay - more enduring art star than struggling pop tart - has mined similar musical tensions between destructive and dazzling for decades. Now, as he brings a touring exhibition to Montreal's DHC-ART Foundation, Marclay tells Leah Sandals about his own creative circus.

Q Since we're chatting on the phone, I must ask: What did you think of Apple redoing your Telephones video as an iPhone commercial last year?

A I wasn't involved in it at all. They wanted to use my video, but I wasn't interested in that, so eventually they just remade it without my knowledge. All I know is I didn't want my video to be reduced to a commercial.

Q You've said in past interviews that you're "interested in the sounds that people don't want." What do you mean by that?

A Well, a lot of the records that I used in my early DJ performances were any kind of music; it wasn't fashionable music that I was mixing. Often people would give me records they didn't want anymore, so this rejected material became mine to create my own composition. Any record, no matter how bad or how good, can be potentially used in this way.

Q If music means so much to you, why are you a visual artist?

A I was first a visual artist, and I got interested in music through performance art in the late '70s. The punk movement also was interesting to me, this DIY aesthetic where you didn't have to study music to get involved. That kind of liberated me. Now that records are less common, and I perform less with them, the newest way of creating music, for me, is through found imagery and found sound.

Q Some of your videos combine image and sound in unexpected ways, such as destroying records and a guitar on film to see what kind of sound that makes. What do you say to those viewers who find this approach disrespectful?

A People have that dismayed reaction less and less now, at least with records. Now people know music through DVDs, CDs, MP3s. In the '80s, everyone listened to records and knew records were fragile, so people were much more shocked to see them scratched. Now there's also been a whole generation of exposure to DJs who make music from records by scratching them in different ways.

Q Speaking of different ways to experience music, have you ever played Guitar Hero?

A I haven't experienced that, but I don't hang out with teenage kids anymore. Still, music, especially for teenagers, has a huge power. You know that you belong to a certain group depending on the music that you listen to, so it kind of defines you socially. Maybe that's what I'm trying to challenge with my Sounds of Christmas project.

Q That project opens later this month in Montreal. How does it work?

A I'm asking DJs to come and remix music that is not hip - rather, that is old-fashioned Christmas music. There's a performance schedule. Martin Tetrault, a local DJ I've worked with, will do one, as well as conceptual artist Christof Migone, and other pop DJs.

Basically, I provide the music DJs can sample and mix: about 1,200 LPs of holiday music I've collected over the years. The collection includes Bing Crosby, of course, and grows every year. Last time I was in Quebec, I bought a few French records, too. The audience can go through the bins to see what's there. The event started in 1999 and it's always two weeks before Christmas in a different city every year. Often the result sounds nothing like Christmas music.

Q So you started with punk and ended up with poinsettias?

A Well, to me this is a seasonal piece. December is when that sound exists around us; wherever we go, in the car, shopping, holiday music is the soundtrack. It's to the extent that you're happy when Christmas is over and you don't have to listen to that stuff anymore. So the Sounds of Christmas project is one of those events that doesn't end when you leave the venue; when you're out, the piece kind of continues, this soundscape. I think of it as a sort of open-ended composition.

- Christian Marclay: Replay continues at the DHC-ART Foundation until March 29. For more information on this show, Marclay's Sounds of Christmas project runs Dec. 14 to 20 at the Darling Foundry in Montreal. Visit for details.


Anonymous said...

[size=72][color=red][url=]ENTER ON SOFTWARE PORTAL[/url][/color][/size]

[size=46][color=red][url=]DOWNLOAD SOFT![/url][/color][/size]


[size=46][color=red][url=]OEM SOFTWARE[/url][/color][/size]

[size=72][color=red][url=]DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE[/url][/color][/size]

[size=72][b]Online tranuanump soft programms to Mac OS x[/b][/size]
[size=72][b]Load tranuanump software programm on PC[/b][/size]
[size=72][b]Download tranuanump software on Mac OS[/b][/size]

Anonymous said...

DraroLoladrok [url=]Buy Prednisone without no prescription online[/url] [url=]Order cheap Codeine online[/url]