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© Christian Marclay. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.


Artist: Christian Marclay (Born in San Rafael, CA, 1955)
Culture: American
Date: 1988
Medium: Metal disc and padlock
Diameter: 7 inches (17.8 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:This work asks viewers to consider a sound object without the sound. Christian Marclay’s sculpture consists of a 7-inch metal “mother” disc (the template used to produce vinyl records, and in this case a 45rpm “single”) with a padlock affixed through the middle. The large padlock denies us any opportunity to play and hear what has been recorded and offers only the potential of sound.

Secret refers to a 1916 work by the artist Marcel Duchamp. Titled With Hidden Noise, it consists of a box containing an unknown object that produces a noise when shaken. A delicate and valuable work, Duchamp’s object is rarely touched, making the sound almost as secret as the object it contains. In much the same way, Marclay’s metal disc is a mystery. We are denied access to whatever sound is contained in the grooves of this record, leaving us to wonder and imagine what it might sound like.

Object number: 2009.8.2