Christian Marclay: The Sounds of Christmas
December 14 – 31 2000
Beginning twenty years ago as a pioneer of the experimental turntable movement and continuing with innovative forays into the intersections of visual art and music, Christian Marclay (b. 1955, New York) has made a unique contribution to our increasingly hybrid culture. For this project, which originated at ArtPace in San Antonio, Marclay has assembled more than a thousand LPs of Christmas music, incorporating every conceivable format and nationality. Presented as a publicly accessible “archive,” the records are also documented through a video index and a computerized database projected in the exhibition space. On four separate evenings, a group of invited DJs will create live re-mixes of their own selection from Marclay’s Christmas records; these recorded performances will in turn provide a continuous audio soundtrack for visitors to the installation. Marcley’s conviction that even such a hackneyed genre as Christmas Music can be the basis for invention illustrates the vital place his work occupies in current experimental composition. Combining the blatant sentimentality of his source material with the vanguard practice of a new generation of turntable musicians, Marclay suggests that the categories we have erected to distinguish “serious” music from its opposite are both arbitrary and arcane.