White Cube Mason’s Yard presents a recent filmic work by Christian Marclay this fall, Doors (2022). Following its debut in the artist’s survey at Centre Pompidou in Paris (2022), and more recently its inclusion at Art Basel (2023), the show showcases a new work compiled from a massive collection of cinematic footage amassed over the past decade.
Doors, as one might expect, constitutes a montage of short, sampled film clips featuring the opening and closing of doors. Continuing the vocabulary of some of Marclay’s most celebrated video works including Telephones (1995), Video Quartet (2002), Crossfire (2007) and The Clock (2010), this new moving image collage is made of film sequences of all genres, black and white and colour, from French New Wave to Hollywood blockbusters. Deftly edited by the artist, the result is a visual narrative that follows actors as they walk through a door to enter a new space. The passage marks the editing point, facilitating the transition not only from one film to another but also from one soundscape to another.
Marclay harnesses the potential of the medium to construct non-synchronous notions of space and time, twisting the viewer’s perception of movement and editing to underscore the construction of meaning as present in moden media. The work presents flow and continuity in some sense, the idea of characters constantly moving, passing through space and into new sites and sounds, yet the lack of a clear narrative arc beyond the movement turns the work into an overwhelming, almost hypnotic experience for the viewer.
Presented in tandem with the video, in the ground floor gallery are a series of new sculptures. Marclay returns to sculpture for the first time in two decades, creating works that probe the material presence of doors themselves. Enlisting the allegoric potential of the door as a threshold, Marclay’s new three-dimensional works respond to the architectural quality of the video. Made using found doors, through a kind of metamorphosis, the sculptures yield an array of simple forms. By cutting, chiselling and stacking, the doors undergo a process of deconstruction and reconstitution, akin to the editing employed to create the video.
The show closes September 30th.
– D. Creahan
Christian Marclay: Doors [Installation View]