This Exhibition Has Ended

November 7, 2020
November 24, 2020
On the east façade, sunset to midnight

The Johnson Museum’s series of facade projections continues with a work by the renowned artist and composer Christian Marclay. Lids and Straws (One Minute) is part of a series of six silent animations collaged together from thousands of still photographs that Marclay takes on his daily walks through London. Each animation highlights particular, commonly discarded objects, such as cigarette butts, bottle caps, chewing gum, or—in this case—plastic lids and straws. Edited together and sequenced like flip-books, Marclay’s short pieces are reminiscent of early cinema’s devices that produce the animated illusion of motion, in which burnt cigarettes grow back and wads of chewing gum divide and multiply like cells.

Here, in Lids and Straws (One Minute), brightly colored straws rotate across monochromatic lids like a second hand across a clockface, one straw for each second. When one animation from this group was projected throughout Times Square as part of its Midnight Moment series, Marclay noted that “the sidewalk trash” was being shown “blown up in scale, where it came from.” Not only does Marclay transform trash into visual poetry in these seemingly unassuming works, but in Lids and Straws (One Minute) he also makes us hyper aware of time, which is especially resonant in these days of social distancing and quarantine.

Andrea Inselmann
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art


Born in California and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, Marclay is known for work combining sound recording, collage, photography, video, film, and performance. His videos and films—including his monumental 2010 work The Clock—have been seen by viewers around the world, including in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as at the Venice Biennale; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow.