mfc-michèle didier

Ephemera

Ephemera

Christian Marclay

mfc-michèle didier is delighted to present "Ephemera" by Christian Marclay.

"Ephemera", is the result of the long-term accumulation of eclectic musical notations, gleaned from here and there in various advertisements, illustrations, menus, candy wrappings, etc. These ephemera have been assembled, photographed and reproduced in a series of 28 folios. From this ensemble of printed motifs, Christian Marclay has created a musical score named "Ephemera", which is intended to be played.

To represent sound, to give it a visual form, is an enterprise doomed to failure. A musical score evades this pitfall since it only constitutes the material support for reading, playing, or singing.

It is a question of decoding a language, and even if not all are able to do it, everyone will nonetheless immediately recognize that they are dealing with written music. By extension, and in a deliberately ambiguous manner, a score can serve as a representation of music.

These kitsch motifs thus present a disarming sight, insofar as nothing is really made to be played. We encounter unplayable elements, like keys of G lost in the emptiness, or staves whose lines wander and fray…Marclay gives meaning to these ephemera, even if they would have never claimed it for themselves, the poor little things being neither truly musical scores nor artistic representations.

Image Credit:

Christian Marclay, "Ephemera" (detail), photo by Charles Duprat

Christian Marclay

Ephemera

2009

Cardboard slipcase: 41 x 30 x 3 cm

Set of 28 folios, 40 x 60 cm each

Produced and published in 2009 by mfc-michèle didier

12.000 €

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Christian Marclay

"Ephemera" (detail)

Photo by Charles Duprat

Marclay - Ephemera - Exhibition View 2 M.jpg

Christian Marclay, "Ephemera" (detail), photo by Charles Duprat

Christian Marclay

"Ephemera" (detail)

Photo by Charles Duprat

Marclay - Ephemera - Exhibition View 3 M.jpg

Christian Marclay

"Ephemera" (detail)

Photo by Charles Duprat

Marclay - Ephemera - Exhibition View 5 M.jpg

Christian Marclay, "Ephemera" (detail), photo by Charles Duprat

For more than 35 years, Christian Marclay has been creating works with music at the heart of his process.

Born in 1955 in California, and Swiss of origin, Marclay came back to the United States in 1977, at a time when much of the musical experimentation, including No Wave and Punk Rock, had a strong influence on the art world. This period will influence his work, between experimental music and art: Christian Marclay approaches music as a visual artist.

He created his first band "The Bachelors, Even", in tribute to Marcel Duchamp and more particularly to "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even", 1915-1923. He also performed with John Zorn, explored relations between sound and its visualization, with performances, concerts and installations.

It was during this first great period of experimentation that began his use of turntables and his practice of collages taking different forms, questioning, as rock and punk culture, the commercial use of disc and cultural industries.

Marclay assembles album covers, resulting in collages reminding surrealist's cadavre exquis. His practice of borrowing, sample, pursues Dada and Marcel Duchamp's ideas, and falls under Fluxus's emancipatory approach.

mfc-michèle didier

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