Joe Clark - Polychroming
22 January - 19 February 2015
Opening: Thursday, 22 January 2015, 6pm
In Conversation: Wednesday, 4 February 2015, 7pm
- with independent curator Michael Birchall
Polychroming is a new project by English artist Joe Clark and his first exhibition in Berlin. At the centre of the installation is a video work in which an abstract chrome figure set against a shifting field of colour similarly waxes and wanes, continually re-rendering the image. The title refers to the traditional technique of hand-colouring the surfaces of stone or wooden sculptures in order to mimic life and alludes to echoes of it in the production of contemporary images.
Working from a position of both fascination and deep-distrust, Clark’s practice pulls from the contemporary photographic idiom, exploring and exposing the explicit and implicit rules of photography; its techniques and mechanisms; its effects and our perception of them. For Polychroming Clark has mimicked a process often used in the production of photo-real CGIs (computer generated images), producing the video component of the installation in-camera via a physical apparatus in his studio, thus pushing information through an established workflow in an unfamiliar direction. Reminiscent of Plato’s cave from the famous allegory, the subject of the image has been enveloped by a screen-rig which allows the projection of an environment around it. Navigating through a spherical image of a desert plain the artist causes the light from that distant place to dance across the multifaceted surface, thereby grounding it in a reality, but at the same time rendering it as legible to the viewer as the shadows on a cave’s wall.