16 / 11 / 02 – 15 / 12 / 02
Exhibition / Films / Talks / Performance

Record Without A Cover (1985/99)
Christian Marclay (CH)

Excerpt from website interview www.insound.com

The single-sided recording Record Without a Cover has on the flip-side has an engraved reminder: DO NOT STORE IN A PROTECTIVE PACKAGE. As intended, the record would then gain its own individual characteristics according to its own contact with the elements, whether it be a brush with sandpaper or a fateful day in the sun.

NT: Ten years ago, in a review of your work, David Ilic from The Wire noted that your work paralleled that of a collage artist, that the contextualization of sounds you work with discards all reference to nostalgia, yet, in the liner notes for Records, Thurston Moore suggests that your work, particularly Record Without a Cover, ”touched on some loaded memories distinctive to contemporary household culture, the childhood noise of records being played…” and so on. Which of the two is a more accurate description of your work and why?

CM: One was written in the ’80s and the other in the ’90s. Thurston made reference to youth, but also to the demise of the record in some ways. A lot of my work dealt with the recognition one had when listening to it, recognizing that there were records being used and manipulated. The fact that you know by listening to my stuff that it’s made with records is important to someone who has grown up listening to records as opposed to someone who is not familiar with the sounds of old scratchy records or having had that first-hand experience with these objects. Both of them have their own opinions based on their own experience. I think that when you’re dealing with the past, even if it’s a very recent past, there’s always an element of nostalgia. It’s not necessarily nostalgia, but it’s also this recognition that, ”Oh, this is familiar.”

NT: Nostalgia is really more within the artifacts created by records themselves rather than a distinct memory.

CM: Right. I did this piece on Louis Armstrong on More Encores where I used old 78 RPM records. I grew up in the age of micro-groove and not of the 78 RPM, but still I felt that his sound and his voice were very much attached to that format and that format in its limitation had an incredible expressive quality. For me, it expressed as much as the music itself; the actual sound of that old disc spinning was as much about the sound of that period as Louis Armstrong. The medium itself has an expressive quality because you know it’s from the past; it’s hard to disassociate the two.