london

Matthew Darbyshire, An Exhibition for Modern Living, 2010, mixed media, 8' 2 1/2“ x 11' 9 3/4” x 14' 9 1/8". From “British Art Show 7.”

“British Art Show 7”

Hayward Gallery

Matthew Darbyshire, An Exhibition for Modern Living, 2010, mixed media, 8' 2 1/2“ x 11' 9 3/4” x 14' 9 1/8". From “British Art Show 7.”

“The best British art show ever,” gushed the The Guardian when “British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet” opened late last year at Nottingham Contemporary. Could the London outing of forty artists born or resident in the UK live up to the fanfare? Easily, it turns out. Perhaps any exhibition with Christian Marclay’s immensely popular video The Clock, 2010, is guaranteed success. Marclay’s splendid, twenty-four-hour work made of existing film clips displaying the actual time, thus becoming a functioning screen-size clock, relentlessly pictures not just ticking timepieces but our uneasy relationship with time, as characters perpetually wait, rush, panic, or simply find ways to kill time on-screen.

Just as Marclay proves himself a consummate filmmaker—as does Emily Wardill in her tense 16-mm film The Diamond (Descartes’ Daughter), 2008—the other artists represent their

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