Preparing for Tonight’s 24-Hour Art Experience

I can’t imagine there are many people who I could convince to spend 24 hours in a movie theater, and even fewer (myself included) who could stay awake for all that time—but I know someone who is going to try.  Starting today at 5 pm and through tomorrow at 5 pm, LACMA will once again hold a free screening of Christian Marclay’s The Clock. Edited together from hundreds of clips of movies and television, the day-long montage is synchronized to local time and functions as a working timepiece with each clip featuring a clock, a watch, someone acknowledging the time, etc.

Christian Marclay, The Clock (still), 2010, purchased with funds provided by Steve Tisch through the 2011 Collectors Committee

This is a cinematic and artistic experience that 78-year-old Isabel Callahan does not intend to miss.  After reading Kenneth Turan’s July 8th article in the Los Angeles Times, Isabel  took his advice to heart and not only plans to check out The Clock, but plans to stay for the entire 24 hours.  As the daughter of a Paramount Studios art director, Isabel has been interested in film since she was a child.  In fact, she recalls spending many days in her childhood at a theater on Pico Boulevard paying a nickel to see a double feature. Hopefully those double features have helped prepare her for the day-long cinematic undertaking she is about to experience.

Of course, Isabel isn’t too worried about the difficulty of 24 hours of staring at a screen. She does experience chronic pain, but that is one of only two concerns.  Her only other worry is missing this opportunity.  Isabel said to me, “I never want to regret anything the rest of my life.”  (Based on what I’ve seen of The Clock, I’m sure it will live up to her expectations.)  Like she said, if Christian Marclay put so much time and effort into this work, she’d like to honor his genius by devoting 24 hours of her own time, as well.

Maybe she can take some advice from Sean Hathwell, who saw all 24 hours when we screened The Clock in May: “Wear comfortable clothes.” Sean, along with Christian Marclay, curator Christine Y. Kim, and others was interviewed by the public radio show Studio 360 about the experience of The Clock.

Enjoy the all-day screening of The Clock (however much of it you can see) and best of luck to you, Isabel.  I’m certainly pulling for you!

Meghan Adamovic, Education and Public Programs

8 Responses to Preparing for Tonight’s 24-Hour Art Experience

  1. Cheryl says:

    so looking forward to it…do you expect a zoo or will we get in??

  2. Mia Wicklund says:

    I would really like to try to stay up for 24 hours and see this someday – with coffee, red bull, and jumping jacks – maybe next time I visit LA?! Good luck to Isabel and please give us your review! The still images I have seen of this work are so intriguing; I am enchanted from afar.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was only able to watch from 6 am to 7:30 am. Please bring it back! And thank you!

  4. Taliny says:

    Pretty amazing stuff. Viewed 12:00 Midnight till 1:00 am. Will you guys show again please?

  5. Annie says:

    That’s my aunt, Isabel Geraldine Callahan! Love you Aunt Jerie! Wish I could watch with you!

  6. Anders says:

    Just found out about this, and so bummed to have missed it! Any plans to bring it back?

  7. lacma says:

    Anders, you’re in luck. We’re screening it again this weekend, March 24-25, beginning at noon on Saturday and ending at noon on Sunday. See you there!

  8. Anders says:

    Awesome! I will be there. Driving up from San Diego for it. Would have missed it again if you hadn’t let me know. Thanks for taking the time.

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