Joe Clark, Shallow Pool
Galleria Mario Iannelli, Roma
Shallow Pool assembles works created from 2013-15, spanning four suites which are all bound by the same technical and conceptual framework. A recurring motif is the expression of a bodily gesture or intervention, articulating something, which could in theory be made with a computer but in practice was only possible as the result of the artist making a physical intervention in the world.
Clark often problematizes the process of presenting the world through contemporary photographic techniques by inhabiting the mode of production. Here we see re-phrasings of virtual camera positions, CG model making, image based lighting (HDRi), layered compositing and brushes which are all freely combined, purposefully ignoring the scenarios that would normally accompany their use. He is subverting the working practices associated with commercial applications of photography, diverting the workflow at a crucial point. For example: doing something by hand that would normally be done in a virtual space or adapting a post-production process so that it can be used at the point of image-capture.
There is a language in the works which is intuitive, reductive and speaks to a simultaneous fascination and discomfort with the medium. It is presented through a struggle within self-imposed frameworks to make an expressive gesture. Between these works we can perceive the transposition of the kernel of idea between media as the formal potentialities of each process encourage an accretion of image information over time. The aesthetic logic of one process begins to manifest itself in another.
The title Shallow Pool hints at the ambiguity present in the works, the reflection on the surface of a pool may suggest depth and clarity, but stepping into it, may reveal something else. It is seductive but misleading and, to a certain extent, mischievous. The viewer is returned to the image surface without the expected guidance, unanchored by familiar cues.