Shake Rattle and Roll (fluxmix)

Christian Marclay’s 2004 residency at the Walker Art Center included fiddling with fluxus:

and with his white gloves making him look more like a magician than a conservator, Marclay transforms these objects yet again.

Much of the Fluxus and Beuys materials that Marclay researched for his video installation exist as mail ephemera, instructions, posters, and newspapers, and also as boxes that include a medley of objects by many different artists: wooden toys and games, puzzles, and nonsensical items. Marclay wanted to bring these eccentric, historic objects back to life by capturing his playful investigation of their sonic possibilities. Shake Rattle and Roll (fluxmix) presents them in a surprising new light as he frees them from storage to create a clamorous symphony of images, a portfolio of sounds. The philosophy of Fluxus referred to the fluidity between media, and by extension, between art and life. Beuys’ work similarly engaged with multiplying the definitions of art.

Christian Marclay (b. 1955, San Rafael, California) grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel. In 1977, he moved to Boston and attended the Massachusetts College of Art, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Marclay’s work has been shown at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C; the Venice Biennial; the Musée d’Art et d’histoire, Geneva; the Kunsthaus in Zurich; and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris in New York. His 2004 retrospective exhibition organized by the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Marclay’s visual art practice, which combines video installations, sculpture, photography, and collage, addresses the overlapping of aural and visual realms, reflecting on how sound and image are related. He is also a prolific musician. His work is full of nods to popular culture, but he also plays on the tradition of an expanded idea of music inherited from avant-garde composers like John Cage. He has performed throughout Europe, Japan, the United States and in New York City, where he lives and works, with collaborators as diverse as John Zorn, the Kronos Quartet, and Sonic Youth. As a pioneer of “turntablism,” he was sampling before the term was invented.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *