Christian Marclay: Telephones

A landmark in the history of video art, Christian Marclay’s Telephones (1995) is an expertly edited sequence of black-and-white and color film clips featuring people using an assortment of telephones, all from the pre-smart phone era. Telephones offers an engaging yet complex experience: while we are all familiar with watching “the movies,” Marclay’s work blends unrelated but recognizable characters and stories into a continuous stream that upends our expectations of how stories are told and meanings are created. At times humorous, startling, tense and poignant, Telephones allows us to reflect on how we immediately — and often involuntarily — process information and entertainment in our media-dominated world.

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