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I absorb Marclay over time. Dipping in and out of his Clock as opportunities arise. How long did Maya and I queue in New York? Massing hours in pursuit of time’s totality. 

Whereas artists such as Douglas Gordon famously explored duration through the slowing down of cinematic flow almost to the point of stillness, Marclay resorts to quick cutting instead, assembling thousands of fragments that unravel in rapid succession, literally forsaking duration in favour of time-as-movement.1

Counting the minutes. Sucked into narrative. Counting the minutes. People spend hours, not minutes, waiting for the time to pass.

For Proust, time is to be psychic time, and consequently the factor which determines our bodily life.2

Crossing the Millennium Bridge again. A montage of previous memories.

I tried to demonstrate the Proustian text as experience: not merely as a stylistic structure but as subjective, unconscious, sensory experience.3

Voluntary: ‘Walk, Stop y Roll’, my first encounter walking the bridge at a distance. 

So long as we remain on the level of voluntary memory, Combray remains external to the madeleine, as the separable context of the past sensation.4

Involuntary: ‘Notes to the Novice Pedestrian’, a year of relationships progressing.

But this is the characteristic of involuntary memory: it internalizes the context, it makes the past context inseparable from the present sensation.5

Time marked through wanders. 

We must regard involuntary memory as a stage, which is not even the most important stage, in the apprenticeship to art.6

Rush hour approaches. People move in a fury. Refilming the clock at Liverpool Station. Filming the clock for the first time. A montage of city sites over a year of wanders.  

Involuntary as it is, memory conceived in this way is not an internal property of the psyche: it aids the complex dynamics of the imaginary process whose role is to reconcile genius with the structuring of life.7

A team of workers, discovering, editing, compiling for the Master Artist.

There remains one thing sacred: art. But art is not social. It shreds the social order into little pieces. 8

Carl Lavery


1. Martine Beugnet, Firing at the Clocks: Cinema, Sampling, and the Cultural Logic of the Late Capitalist Artwork. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 54, no. 2 (2013): 193

2. Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 5. 

3. Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 29. 

4. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Continuum, 2008), 39.

5. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Continuum, 2008), 39.

6. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Continuum, 2008), 42. 

7.[Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 91.

8. Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 96. 

 

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