On his daily walks through London, Christian Marclay has photographed thousands of blobs of squished chewing gum on city sidewalks. Although the subject hardly seems worthy of artistic celebration, he has edited those images into Chewing Gum—a lively, humorous stop-motion animation.
Through careful sequencing, Marclay allows the banal spots to merge and divide like cells; dance playfully with one another; and explode into a cosmic constellation. Meanwhile, in a self-referential tribute to the history of film, the herky-jerky quality of the pavement flickering behind the gum recalls flip books, optical toys such as the 19th-century zoetrope, and early cinema.
Born in California in 1955, Marclay grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, and now lives and works in London. He is known for his innovative work combining sound recording, collage, photography, video, film, and performance.