Art, Music And Onomatopoeia By Christian Marclay

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 45 months ago
Art, Music And Onomatopoeia By Christian Marclay ★★★★☆ 4
The overwhelming onomatopoeia is splashed across all four walls of a darkened room. Photo Tabish Khan.
The overwhelming onomatopoeia is splashed across all four walls of a darkened room. Photo Tabish Khan.
The shadows of visitors' legs overlay the video of Marclay wandering the streets of London playing a tune on the empties. Photo George Darrell.
The shadows of visitors' legs overlay the video of Marclay wandering the streets of London playing a tune on the empties. Photo George Darrell.
This vinyl pressing machine was created for this exhibition by The Vinyl Factory. Live performances in the gallery will be recorded and pressed in the gallery. The records will be available to purchase for £25 each.  Photo George Darrell.
This vinyl pressing machine was created for this exhibition by The Vinyl Factory. Live performances in the gallery will be recorded and pressed in the gallery. The records will be available to purchase for £25 each. Photo George Darrell.
The paintings of onomatopoeia aren't as powerful as the video work. Photo George Darrell.
The paintings of onomatopoeia aren't as powerful as the video work. Photo George Darrell.

Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆

Christian Marclay is best known for his 24 hour film called The Clock, where the time on screen will always match the time in the real world. In painstakingly laborious fashion, scenes of films were cut together to create this overwhelming piece of art.

His latest exhibition at the gigantic White Cube gallery in Bermondsey is just as encompassing but this time it's a multi-faceted take on sound. Visitors are firstly greeted with the clinking of glasses, emanating from video works projected at a low level on the walls of the corridor. Marclay wandered the streets of East London on a weekend morning and plays a tune by knocking empties over, smashing them or tapping them with a pen.

It's a melody highlighting the residual effects of London's drinking culture. As viewers walk past these films, the shadows of their legs overlay the projections and they become part of Marclay's experience.

Continuing the theme of sound, weekend performances will be conducted in the gallery and a partnership with The Vinyl Factory allows them to be recorded, the vinyl records created within a press on site and then sold to the public.

The last leg of this sound oriented exhibition focuses on onomatopoeia. A darkened room flashes up words that act out their sound in silence — 'rumble' vibrates along the wall, balloons 'pop' and we're silenced by the cascading 'sshhh's; it's visually sensational and cleverly done. There are paintings in this exhibition along the same theme, but they are a pale imitation of the video work.

We visited on the opening weekend and this show is already proving to be extremely popular — aside from opening nights, we've never seen the gallery so busy. The exhibition is very ambitious in terms of scale and scope, and for the large part Marclay delivers a varied and entertaining experience.

Christian Marclay is on at White Cube Bermondsey, 144-152 Bermondsey St, SE1 3TQ until 12 April. Entrance is free. On at the other White Cube in Mayfair is the excellent wooden sculpture of Virginia Overton.

For more great art to see in London, see our top 10 exhibitions for February.

Last Updated 03 February 2015