Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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Jewish Childhood. The Clock - Pompidou Center, Paris
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 22:15

Each summer I come to Paris in June and go to the Pompidou to see their current art shows. One thing that caught my eye was THE CLOCK, a video installation by Christian Marclay. The Clock is a mechanism regulated with a clockmaker's precision, which tells the time in real time. This original, and I use this word in the cerebral sense of it, was created in 2010, unsuspecting of the purpose or anti purpose of the piece, I walk into a large theater, wait until my eyes become accustomed to the dark and find a seat. So much was so familiar. Not until I walked out after two hours when I asked: "How long is this movie? 24 hours, thousands of scenes taken from the entire history of the cinema, familiar faces from different eras, popping up here and there, and always with a watch, a clock, some kind of time peace and the joke on me. It's all about time, from dada to what? 30 years in the making a time machine covering nearly seventy years of the history of cinema, a race against time becomes, frenetic, spectacular and hypnotic.

I must take more than the information out of the scant one page given out after I leave the theater having just sat there for the two hours.

On the sheet of paper, is the start of an explanation, "Here he pushes this aesthetic to the point of virtuosity by making play with time: an eminently abstract idea and tyrannical force that takes shape through the desires tears, frustrations, hopes, joy and despair imbuing the stream of image." a personal history, a biological clock.

Through the intervention of real time, recurrent scenes on the screen, it becomes "frenetic, confusing our vision thrown into disarray by this jerky, disabling development of the narrative. Sound as glue, telephone rings, the tick tock of clocks, the image or refrain, footsteps, many different languages, laughter, music become a large symphony.    

            It is a time machine and I become the sole survivor in this time.

            Next time I see the word ‘CLOCK’, I will never think of it the same.

A decaf is ordered before throwing myself out into the madding crowd and in to the City of Light. A slow walk to the No. 38 bus, all the time wondering what draws me to that word and how I was captured even before I stepped into that darkened theater.

Thanks for going on this adventure with me and reading my  Jewish Childhood Blog.