Video Quartet, a work by artist Christian Marclay involving the simultaneous projection of four huge videos, will open May 7 at the Nasher Museum of Art
at Duke University.
To create Video Quartet, Marclay sampled more than 700 Hollywood films featuring images of hands on keyboards, horns and violins, as well as men and women singing and dancing. He seamlessly wove together snippets of Western music culture: Chico Marx on the piano, Elvis Presley as a cowboy, Ingrid Bergman, shots from Clint Eastwood's film Bird about Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix and the banjo-playing child in Deliverance. The London- and New York-based artist worked on a home computer for more than a year to make the visual and audio collage.
The Washington Post called the work as impressive as contemporary art gets, with an emotional charge that should leave a lump in almost any viewer's throat.
This work is hard to describe in terms of its technical perfection -- it is a sampling masterpiece and a pure joy to watch, said Trevor Schoonmaker, curator of contemporary art at the Nasher Museum. We are fortunate to be able to present this epic work by Christian Marclay, one of the most significant artists working today.
The work will be on a continuous 14-minute loop as the sole exhibition in one of the museums main galleries. The work was recently on view in Montreal at DHC/ART as part of Replay, the artists video retrospective, and was last seen in the United States at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of Full House: Views of the Whitney's Collection at 75 (June 28-December 3, 2006).