Clare Strand is a UK-based artist who works with, but mostly against the photographic medium. Over the past 25 years, she has worked with found imagery, kinetic machinery, web programmes, fairground attractions, large-scale paintings, and chamber music. Her practice is situated somewhere between control and a wilful acceptance of chance. Strand has exhibited in venues such as The Museum Folkwang; The Center Pompidou; Tate Britain; Salzburg Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her work is held in the collections of MOMA; SFMoma; The V&A; The Center Pompidou; The British Council; McEvoy Collection; The Arts Council; The NY Public Library; The Uni Credit Bank; The Mead Museum and Cornell University. Strand has produced 4 publications to date, including Clare Strand Monograph published by Steidl (2009), Skirts published by GOST (2014) Girl Plays with Snake published by MACK (2017) and Negatives for Fun with Clare Strand Photography published by Multipress (2019). Strand was one of the four nominees for the Deutsche Borse prize ( 2020). She is currently represented by Parrotta Contemporary Art, Cologne/Bonn.
Articles of Clare Strand
“We shall be your favorite disappearing act!” / Clare Strand, Playing a Photograph
This essay discusses the intellectual foundation of the research group Thinking Tools at the Royal Academy of Antwerp. Established within the photography department at the Academy, the research group quickly decided to mainly support research into experimental photographic practices that radically question existing presuppositions. It starts from André Bazin's contention photography is the only way we can enjoy the absence of the human hand in the production of an image and goes on to explore how this theme of absence has become a guiding principle for the research group. The writings of Vilém Flusser on photography introduced us to the concept of the apparatus and to the photographer as an operator. These allow us to critically rethink the idea of photography as a simple instrument of image making. For a better understanding of the sovereignty of the camera we turned another thinker inspired by Flusser, the French photohistorian Michel Frizot. His definition of photography as the conjunction of an optical and a chemical system helped us to grasp in more concrete terms how photography radically differs from other existing art forms. Combining the theoretical positions of Flusser and Frizot gave us a robust framework for the 2021 publication Off Camera which set out to demonstrate how the concept of ‘the photographic’ expanded into the larger realm of the visual arts. The essay concludes with a discussion of two artists whose work could illuminate how this concept of ‘the photographic’ is at play in contemporary art.
Clare Strand’s “Playing a Photograph” is a telematic dialogue between a photograph and musical performers from the Royal Conservatoire (https://vimeo.com/773269239/c934f6a17a).