LONDON.- Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time is an exhibition of new work by British artist Clare Strand. The exhibition employs kinetic machines, film and photography to reveal Strands discordant relationship with the photographic medium, exploring its promise and limitations through unexpected and eccentric means.
The Happenstance Generator is a large Perspex chamber on a metal plinth. Inside the chamber a selection of the artists archives of research images from the past 30 years, are being blown about by hidden fans. The machine randomly propels images towards the transparent surfaces of the chamber, before being repositioned again by the movement of the air. The images are highlighted for one moment and disappear the next; much in the way that data and image sequences appear and disappear, grow and diminish in importance, in the constantly changing landscape of everyday visual encounters.
The Entropy Pendulum has a selected photographic print positioned under its constantly swinging weight. As the pendulum arm swings back and forth, it rubs against the work and over the course of a day gradually erases parts of the image. Each day throughout the exhibition, a photograph takes its place under the weight of the pendulum, gradually filling up the 35 empty frames on the gallery wall.
The third machine, Control in Motion, is a mutoscope based on an early motion picture device invented in the late 19th century. Working on the same principle as a flip-book but with a circular core, like a Rolodex, a series of 100 pages, representing the subtle grades of the tonal system from black to white, rotate in a constant motion. With each rotation the cards experience a very slight degradation, initially undetectable to the human eye, but noticeable over time.
A new film, Material, captures flecks of domestic dust as they float through a shaft of sunlight in Strands bedroom. Viewed through a peephole, the film shows the material of erosion drifting through the air, moving in and out of sight; growing in importance within the frame before receding and fading again into the background.
To create Rubbings, Strand photographed sections of trees at points of divergence and then physically imposed the resulting print over the original surface. These photographs were then left exposed for external forces to gradually abrase and corrupt. The resulting degraded prints are hung in the gallery alongside the documentation of the activity.
Clare Strand (b.1973) lives and works in Brighton. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at Folkwang Museum, Essen (2009); Forum Fur Fotografie, Cologne (2010); and National Museum of Krakow (2014). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Tate Britain; The Hassleblad Center, Gothenburg; Huis Marseille, Amsterdam; The Courtauld Institute; Victoria & Albert Museum and Teatro Fernan-Gomez Arts Center, Madrid amongst others. Strands work is held in the collections of Arts Council England; The National Collection; The British Council; The Folkwang Museum; The New York Public Library; Victoria & Albert Museum; Centre Pompidou, Paris and many private collections. Two monographs of her work have been published; Clare Strand Monograph (Steidl, 2007) and most recently Skirts (GOST, 2013).