The Clock

It’s 11:55pm.
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
with him.

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.
It’s 12:29am.

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.
Déjà vu.

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.
Comic relief.

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
my thoughts,
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.

For Context:

Article on Christian Marclay’s “The Clock”:                               

And a clip of the art piece/ film montage:

This entry was posted in Community, Culture, Diary, Review, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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