We enter a dark room,
hidden behind heavy glass doors.
In a place where I’ve fallen in love
with Carr, Rothko, Harris and
Burtynsky. In a place where
I’ve fallen out of love
Our arrival, like a film. I expect a stuffy old man to give us dirty looks, yet cue the quirky character at coat check. I imagine myself an actor in the plot – trying not to giggle at the Woody Allen dialogue. You chew a blue candy and stare, engrossed in the unfolding scene. It’s 11:45pm. I question my reality. I try to appreciate the particularity of this moment but I’m self-conscious of the —
creep up the sides of the screen.
A woman looks up in a trance –
as 1920s sepia tone flickers around the room.
I know this, Nosferatu, 1922.
11:53pm. We begin our climb up the enormous open ramp towards the main exhibit hall – the screening room. I feel like I’m entering a grand cathedral. I feel like I’m ascending a great mountain. I feel my legs. I fear I’ll never reach the peak.
10:25pm. We sit and talk about life, because that’s what we always do. I listen as he rants about some political issue beyond my current conscious consideration. I question my desirability, he questions his sexuality, we both question our sanity.
We’re waiting for you.
We talk about what we just saw. Or I tell you what I remember, from an article I started reading: “He followed his wife to Paris, or was it London? I can’t remember. Anyways, their flat was so small he couldn’t bring all of his materials – he makes collages, a collagist? – and so he decided to go digital and” – I realize you’re not listening to me. At least I don’t feel like you are. It’s 1:46am.
And I’m engrossed in the smoothness
of the transitions,
the careful attention to detail.
The scenes dance together –
different genres, dates, countries
– all vaguely familiar,
like a lost dream resurfacing.
11:58pm. Bare heals sticking to shoe soles, clicking loudly as I keep left – down the hall towards the bathroom. The embarrassing echoes of my footsteps remind me I exist. I think of that time I watched him sketch here, before he rendered himself into a corner of discontent. I notice a brightly scribbled butterfly – the wall of children’s art reminds me I loved this space before I loved him.
11:56pm. We enter the darkness, full of voyeurs, like us. I flinch as my pins clink together on my canvas bag while I slink into an empty space on the floor. I try not to sit on your feet – always mindful of the space between us. A man’s head blocks my view of the screen. I have to inch closer to you. I hate this.
It’s 12:10am. I’m laughing
at a scene from
Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
The room is full and
John Candy and a Casio watch.
I try to focus on the action unfolding past the shadows, uncomfortably self-aware of my existence in this room. I stretch my feet out and pull them back every time someone passes. 1:03am brings a girl’s face I know. I think. Halloween, horror, 1978 or 79, 80, 81, 82? I wait for the dreaded moment but it never comes. I recognize the artist is toying with my emotions. I recognize I stopped trusting you a long time ago.
1:36am. I feel my consciousness begin to fade. I’m broken from the trance of images as you yawn. We decide to depart and say little as we descend from the film. I try to process what I’ve just seen. Unanimously we decide we liked it.
And I’m caught somewhere between
and the screen.
11:07pm. We sit and wait for you still, but we’re not concerned. We’re used to not knowing where you are –
even when you’re in the same room.
I don’t know what time it is. I don’t care. I bike briskly around the corner of your street.
I’m happy just moving through the roads of this moment.
I’ve seen enough time for one night.
Article on Christian Marclay’s “The Clock”: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/03/12/120312fa_fact_zalewski
And a clip of the art piece/ film montage: http://vimeo.com/28702716