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    24 hours with Christian Marclay’s ‘Clock’ at the MFA

    “Christian Marclay’s “The Clock.” (Photo courtesy Christian Marclay/Paula Cooper Gallery)

    For 24 hours, starting at 4 pm today, the Museum of Fine Arts is screening Christian Marclay’s “The Clock,” a film made up of thousands of clips from the history of cinema and TV, each clip containing an indication — by timepiece or verbal reference — of the real time as the screening takes place.

    The dazzling work, which won a Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale, was jointly purchased by the MFA and the National Gallery of Canada earlier this year for over $500,000. It is screening in conjuction with this weekend’s opening of the MFA’s Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.

    For this 24-hour screening of “The Clock,” Globe writers, in shifts, will join museumgoers. We’ll offer our takes on the film and the scene for a story to appear in the Globe’s G section on Tuesday. Meanwhile, use the hashtag #mfaclock to follow us on Twitter — and join us yourself.


    The MFA originally planned to kick off its first 24-hour screening of “The Clock” as part of the Saturday night opening party for its new Linde Family Wing. Tickets to the full party were priced at $200, which meant that local audiences keen to be the first to see the film in its entirety but not willing to pay $200 would be excluded.

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    An outcry ensued, and Christian Marclay himself weighed in. MFA director Malcolm Rogers, in a letter to the Globe, noted that the tickets were for the party, not just for the screening of Marclay’s work. He added that on Sunday, an open house would offer 12 hours of free entry to the MFA, including “The Clock.”

    And not long afterward, the MFA scheduled a full – and free – earlier screening, starting today.

    It starts at 4pm. I’m first up!

    Sebastian Smee can be reached at