San Francisco

Christian Marclay

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

More than a decade separates Christian Marclay's Tape Fall, 1989, a classic early Marclay fusion of object and sound, from this year's Video Quartet, a sublime meditation on film as an audiovisual medium. But seeing both pieces together in this compact exhibition, titled “Sampling/Christian Marclay,” revealed the artist's consistent ability to transform simple juxtapositions of sound and vision into works that blossom sensually and cerebrally. While the show did not capture the overall arc of Marclay's practice, the two works shown here did mark pinnacle moments.

Tape Fall is composed of a reel-to-reel tape console perched high atop a ladder, with a single regularly recycled audiotape wending its way down from the machine in loopy configurations to create a heap on the floor. The tape plays the sound of dripping water, completing the metaphor of a trickling waterfall and puddle. The languid

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