Vinyl Works 2010-2013

 

 

 Floors and Wars

 

Floors and Wars (2010) straddles a space between the wall and the floor as Clarke considers its position in relation to high art and decoration.  Black and white chequerboard is a pattern found on many contemporary kitchen floors yet can also be traced, for example, to domestic scenes of seventeenth century Dutch painting. There is, however, a more disturbing dimension to this work.  Embedded into the vinyl pattern are silhouettes of human casualties, mostly children, of recently reported wars and violence. The domestic realm evokes home as a place of safety and nurture yet every day it mediates a host of inconceivable truths conveyed not only from the external world but also from within its own walls. 

 

 Power Play

 

Power is energy and a currency. It is inherently social, both relational and reciprocal.  It rises and falls; its flow and intensity directed by strategies, tactics and, sometimes, the strange phenomenon of charisma.  As such, power always involves a performative dimension.

 

Sally Clarke is an observer of the methods and paths by and through which power is distributed. Power Play explores how these dynamics of power can be visualised.  The installation resembles the format of a war game or war room, a benign process of acting out battle scenarios, both hypothetically and abstractly, away from real and traumatic consequences.  To some extent it is also an aftermath.  Column fragments are suggestive of toppled empires, domestic vinyls of the not insignificant conflicts within the domestic sphere.  Viewed within this macro-micro scale Clarke implies that power occupies the full spectrum of human relationships and infects and affects us all. 

 

Battle also takes place upon and within the realm of art.  The notion of the expanded field undermines the autonomy and gravitas of traditional disciplines and media.  The destruction of authority within a single medium is a current preoccupation within art and other disciplinary discourses.  Clarke asks whether we are more concerned with the authoritative position of any particular medium or more with the power base that sustains and benefits from it?  Is there a greater democratic sharing of power in the current climate of de-centralisation or is power just shifting to new, yet unidentified, players?