Utilizing the cyanotype, a camera-less process widely associated with the 19th century and characterized by its signature vibrant Prussian-blue tones, the photograms created by Christian Marclay showcase his multifaceted and expansive language in art making. Sometimes called a "Dadist DJ," Marclay works across all art forms—music, video, performance, sculpture and photography.
The silhouettes of audio cassettes and their unfurling tape honor one of the earliest photographic techniques, while connecting with the exploration of early avant-garde photograms by Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy. The movement inherent in the composition additionally harkens back to the great Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock. Marclay's selection of subject matter was cassette tapes found in thrift shops around Tampa, Florida. His varied cassette configurations, formed by commingling the long spools of renowned musicians such as Luciano Pavarotti, R.E.M., Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart, and Madonna with swaths of nameless generic mixed tapes, give a universal leveling in their new representation.