Using Retro Cassettes, Christian Marclay Has Created an Entirely Modern Sculpture

NEW YORK—Like the ribbon in a cassette tape, “Moebius Loop,” Christian Marclay’s amorphous, malleable art object at Paula Cooper Gallery, is a continuous loop. The sculpture is composed of what appears to be more than 2,000 tapes, stacked nine rows high and lashed together with nylon ties.

The loop is part of the “Accumulations,” a show that also includes work by Bruce Conner and Yayoi Kusama, and two additional pieces by Marclay. Considered a pioneering turntable artist, Marclay has performed and recorded music for more than 30 years and the medium figures prominently in his visual art. His work interprets and explores the creative potential of music, the evolving formats of audio output, and also includes video work, such as “The Clock”—film footage of clocks, watches and a range of other timepieces edited into a 24-hour montage.

In an iTunes era, “Moebius Loop” has a nostalgic appeal. An eclectic collection of genres—from mix tapes and Crystal Gayle, to Disney’s “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Aristocats,” symphonies and a Hewlett-Packard training tape—was used to complete the work. Its graphic impact is formed by both the shape and the random quilt-like pattern of color created by the selection of cassettes.

Concluding this week, the installation runs from Nov. 5 to Dec. 23, 2011.

All photos by Arts Observer


“Moebius Loop,” 1994 (cassette tapes and nylon ties) by Christian Marclay; In background, “Infinity-Nets (SSSOWTN),” 2008 (acrylic on linen) by Yayoi Kusama.


In background, “UNTITLED TRIPTYCH,” 1974 (acrylic on linen) by Bruce Conner.

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