Clock is part of Philippe Parreno’s new body of work begun in 2019. It consists of a transparent Plexiglas clock with three hands animated by a complex mechanism of gears and belts controlled by a DMX recorder.
Akin to the artist's Marquees that flicker according to a light sequence, Clock's mechanism moves like an automaton, following its own rhythm and producing a choreography conceived by Parreno. The motor controlling the gears produces a sound similar to a dynamo.
The work highlights the importance of time in the artist’s oeuvre. In recent years, Parreno has introduced the motif of a clock in several of his works and exhibitions: from the projection of a clock on a screen that gave time in-between films (Synchronicity, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, 2017) to an installation of screen prints with phosphorescent ink titled Fade to Black (The Clock).
Parreno’s practice has always revolved around investigations of time and duration. For him, an exhibition is an event. His art is not object-based but incorporates objects, films, sound, coding, light, biological organisms, and performance to produce scenarios that involve the visitor within an evolving choreography. In Parreno’s exhibitions, time becomes a thing of substance; inhabitable. As Parreno has said: “a repetitive moment becomes eternity. And, for the automaton, eternity is perpetuity.”