Christian Marclay ( American, 1955 )
Christian Marclay has almost exclusively used music, machines, instruments, and films and the sounds they make as raw material for his sculptures and videos. In “Telephones” he created a humorous and rhythmic work of art from splicing together movie and television clips of people using the telephone. A range of actors and actresses, from Barbara Stanwyck to Geena Davis, say hello, listen, converse, and hang up. The featured characters reflect historical moments from early black-and-white film noir to color-saturated television episodes of the 1990s. The telephone and its rituals are an indispensable part of contemporary experience, but in the time since this film was created the advent of the cell phone has radically and forever changed that experience. For both these reasons, “Telephones” now takes on a perhaps nostalgic quality.