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Christian Marclay: Six New Animations

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Christian Marclay: Six New Animations from April 28 through June 25, 2016, at 49 Geary Street, San Francisco. The exhibition highlights six entirely new works by Marclay and marks their worldwide debut. Later this summer the works will receive their first European screening at Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France.

Christian Marclay routinely makes photographs during his daily walks through London, where he now lives. By subtly editing many thousands of images of the pavement beneath his feet, Marclay has created these six hypnotic animations that unlock new possibilities inherent in the concept of “street photography.”

Each animation focuses on a particular object, commonly discarded: cigarette butts, bottle caps, chewing gum, cotton swabs, plastic lids and straws. Countless photographs, taken at different times and on different streets, constitute the frames of each animation.

These static photographs are then edited into sequences which, played back in rapid succession, give the illusion of motion: burnt cigarettes grow back; colorful bottle caps flash and blend; hairy cotton swabs wiggle; blobs of chewing gum divide and multiply like cells; and plastic straws rotate like clockwork.

Unlike traditional animation in which the setting is consistent and spatial continuity is maintained, in this work the background changes frantically. The flickering images recall flip-books, early cinema, and animation devices of the late nineteenth century, such as the zoetrope used by Eadweard Muybridge. Marclay’s animations set the discarded trails of rubbish in motion, giving the humble objects new life and transforming his chance encounters with trash into visual poetry.

Born in California in 1955 and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, Christian Marclay is known for his innovative work combining sound recording, collage, photography, video, film, and performance. Marclay’s videos and films—including his monumental 2010 work The Clock—have been seen by tens of thousands of viewers at prestigious venues around the world, including MOMA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, LACMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art in the US, as well as the Venice Biennale; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthaus Zurich; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow.