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Press Release

NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present a selection of new works by Christian Marclay. This exhibition will be on view at 534 West 21st Street, from 24 January through 17 February 2001.

Consisting of sculptures and a video projection, the exhibition focuses on themes central to Marclay’s work and continues his explorations into the intersections of visual art, music and performance. Here Marclay takes musical instruments as the basis of his new works.

Displayed on a stage and under spotlights, Marclay’s new sculptures are “impossible musical instruments,” all variously distorted, grafted, or otherwise visually altered, rendering them unplayable. Among them are a 20-foot long accordion, a bass guitar cast in rubber, an acoustic guitar with a curved neck, drumsticks made out of glass, a tuba and trumpet fused at the mouthpieces and a towering drum kit whose elements are placed at heights corresponding to their respective pitch, thus spanning the distance from floor to ceiling. Deliberately theatrical in its presentation, this assemblage of mute artifacts foregrounds music and performance within the gallery space, which is traditionally the showcase for visual art.

The exhibition will also include the New York premiere of Guitar Drag (2000) a video work filmed during Marclay’s residency at the ArtPace Foundation for Contemporary Art in San Antonio, Texas. Guitar Drag features an amplified electric guitar tied behind a pick-up truck and dragged along back roads and dirt trails. The work explores the mythologies that have collected around the guitar, the truck and the rural South, from lynchings and cowboy rodeos to road movies and rock-and-roll guitar smashing rituals, while also calling to mind the destruction of instruments by Fluxus artists.

Marclay has exhibited his artwork and performed his music both nationally and internationally. Most recently, Marclay presented The Sounds of Christmas, an installation at the New Museum, New York, featuring an archive of over one thousand Christmas records, which were remixed by DJs during a series of live performances. This year his work will be the subject of one-person exhibitions at The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

For more information, please contact the gallery: (212) 255-1105 or
info@paulacoopergallery.com