memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Friday 11 February 2011

Beyond photography: Clarisse d’Arcimoles @ Degree Art

At the moment Degree Art has got a fascinating exhibition by Clarisse d’Arcimoles. Worth a trip to the East End.
Clarisse is a photographer, but the exhibition was not exactly what I expected of a photography exhibition. It is not one of those perfectly lit, high gloss, expensively framed, large format selection of land/city/seascapes, that fill the art fairs. Clarisse's work is intimate and homely. She recreates and documents the past (no wonder I loved the show). There are photos from her family albums (a kind of now and then arrangements), there is the story of the last resident of the demolished block of flats, there are her travels in India. I had an impression, that Clarisse functions first as an artist, and then as a photographer. I will certainly be keeping my eye on her.

Since graduating from Central Saint Martin’s just over a year ago, d’Arcimoles’ work has been enthusiastically received with exhibitions and awards in the UK and internationally. She is currently exhibiting in Newspeak: British Art Now Vol. II at the Saatchi Gallery. Clarisse d’Arcimoles immortalises, revisits and re-imagines through her work, taking memory and the passage of time as her material. Through this conflation of the past and present the results fluctuate between emotionally charged relics and documentary objects. D’Arcimoles’ delicate handling of her subjects challenges authenticity and artificiality in a bid for both nostalgia and reality.

Clarisse d’Arcimoles: Un-Possible retour and other recent works will include new and recently acclaimed photography, film and installation by d’Arcimoles. Un-Possible retour is a photographic series in which the artist reconstructed snapshots from her family photo albums. The works share the simultaneously poignant and comic atmosphere of The Good Old Days, a sustained investigation through notebooks, photography and film, into the life of Jimmy Watts, the oldest resident of the Market Estate in Holloway, demolished last year. The film will be shown in a reconstruction of how the artist displayed the film in Watts’ flat, custom-built for the exhibition. 16 impressions sous plastique is a collection of self-portraits of d’Arcimoles in a series of hostels and hotel rooms while travelling across India. The intimate environments are generic yet personal in their brief occupation, defined by the detritus of previous tenants or sterile anonymity, accompanied by unlikely commentary and recommendations. These celebrated works will be accompanied by new and previously unseen works.