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ANNOUNCING CHRISTIAN MARCLAY: 48 WAR MOVIES AND SCREAMS
48 War Movies (2019) is a single-channel video that collapses conflicts from the Civil War to Iraq into a horrifying aggregate spectacle of war. Dramatizations are collaged into almost indistinguishable narratives and presented through concentric rectangles, like a flickering conveyor belt of popular cultural content. The forty-eight war films play simultaneously and continuously, and the accompanying soundtrack generates an indecipherable cacophony of wartime sounds.
In response to this kaleidoscope of continuous conflict are a series of screaming faces frozen in perpetual terror. Taken from Japanese Manga and Western style comic books, rendered in colored woodcuts, and printed on a monumental scale, the still and silent faces protest the ceaseless noise and motion of the accompanying video. Both 48 War Movies and the Scream prints react to the endless onward march of global warfare and its mediation in popular culture. By manipulating appropriated fragments from traditional media, Marclay presents an alternative coping mechanism to trauma: an eternal scream in place of an aching mask-like smile.
First presented in “May You Live in Interesting Times,” the International Art Exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennale, this will be the North American premiere of 48 War Movies.
Christian Marclay (born 1955 in San Rafael, CA) studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Geneva from 1975-1977, at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston from 1977–1980, and as an exchange student at Cooper Union in New York in 1978. Marclay’s work has been shown in museums and galleries internationally, most recently in the major one-person exhibition, “Compositions,” at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2019). From August 25 to October 14, 2019, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will stage the U.S. debut of Marclay’s project Sound Stories, a five-work installation that makes use of the sounds and video recordings of Snapchat. In October 2019, Marclay’s video work titled Chewing Gum will be presented on Times Square’s electronic billboards every night as a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. Other important shows have been organized at the Kunsthaus, Zurich (1997), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2001), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010), the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2011), Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2015), Sapporo Art Museum, Sapporo (2017). Marclay received the Golden Lion award for best artist at the 54th Venice Biennale for his 24-hour virtuosic video piece, The Clock, which was first shown at White Cube in London in 2010. Since then, The Clock has been exhibited at a number of institutions worldwide including Paula Cooper Gallery (2011), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2013), Guggenheim Bilbao (2014), Centre Pompidou-Metz (2014), SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul (2014), Museum Berardo, Lisbon (2015), Contemporary Arts Center, presented by Prospect New Orleans (2016), and Tate Modern, London (2018).