Break Down

Factory 49, 2013


In December 2012 Sally Clarke took up a residency at Redgate’s Beigao-based studios on the periphery of Beijing. Her intention was to document and respond to the aesthetics of power embodied within the capital’s architectural and authoritarian edifices. Unexpectedly, a paradigm for a visual analysis of power instead emerged from the activities and materials of the everyday.  Clarke's attention was drawn to the culture of recycling, in particular, the possibilities of this process functioning as an analogy for the way power and its companion, value, flow from one agent to the next. Here an exploration ensued as to how materials can accrue and discharge signifiers of power according to their internal structure, the way in which they are contextualised and consequently, how they are interpreted.


In this work, objects are broken down and their remains reconfigured into new ‘in transit’ formats located within the gallery space. These formats seek equivalency with the notion of formlessness as well as Marc Augé’s theory of non-place and Michel Foucault’s discontinuities in knowledge where waiting-lounges, silences, lacunae, liminal spaces and inchoate visions function as states or spaces in which otherness resides.