On Clocks

Murray Moss
Dec 11, 2012 7:20PM

An appropriately timed counterpoint to Christian Marclay's crowd-pleaser, The Clock, which is on its way to MoMA (December 21, 2012–January 21, 2013), Dutch designer/artist Maarten Baas's equally jaw-dropping Grandfather Clock is currently on view at Moss Bureau.

Though both are inherently theatrical, Maarten Baas's clock (from his Real Time series of elaborate video plays on analog vs. digital time-keeping) in form seemingly favors the mundane, nostalgic vernacular of traditionalist Hall decor. While Christian Marclay condenses time, space, and filmic history into a single 24 hour loop, Maarten offers a drawn-out, slowly unfolding narrative - a metaphoric experience of time. Through a porthole in the 84 inch tall Grandfather Clock, a video of a grandfather figure, who by illusion seems to be living inside the clock itself,  meticulously draws, erases and redraws the hands of the clock as each minute ticks by. The works offer two differing views on the nature of time and how we measure its passing. To Marclay, the measurement is a mathematical 'given', a digital exactness, representing unstoppable precision, moment by moment, in this era of cell phone clocks synced to satellites. But for Baas, the old man in the clock spends his Golden Years making time pass, passing time by making time. He is diligent, but there is naturally something in him poignantly driving him to slow it down a bit.

The Grandfather Clock Veneer will be on view at Moss Bureau through January 31st.

Murray Moss