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Michael Clemow
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Park Slope

ARTIST STATEMENT: My work explores serendipitous encounters while exploring. I contrive to have a cause for exploration, often a stated destination or objective, and allow myself to be distracted, side-tracked by events, objects, and people along the way. Documenting these by collecting found materials, field recordings, photography, drawing and writing, I build an archive of materials on my journey. Later in my studio, I continue my exploration through these materials and build a re-imagined landscape of my experience using an impressionistic, montage approach. The final form of a work may range from time-based media, to performance, to objects and installation. The issues engaged in my work are a function of the context of the expedition and my internal state and each piece reflects my personal interest in the peripheral encounters while on the journey. A personal myth of searching for a lost city, “la Cuidad Blanca,” rumored to be somewhere in the rainforests of eastern Honduras, and sought by many explorers but never found, drives my own vision of my practice; since art hides in the periphery of experience, actually finding the lost city would mean the end of the journey. I therefore view my art making as endless searching while remaining open to discovering art along the way. I am inspired by artists who must go out and search for their art as part of their experience. For instance Francisco Lopez, whose field recording practice brings him to remote areas of the world in search of new sounds, and Andy Goldsworthy, who must journey away from his studio to discover his art in the materials he finds in the physical landscape. Unlike these artists, however, my work is more overtly concerned with my own internal experience and often that of the other people around me, which both add rich and surprising dimensions to the work.

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  • Referendum (Changeling Child)
    Eggshells, Liberty hot plate, copper pot
    This installation references the Celtic/European myth of the changeling child in which the fairies steal a child and replace it with a fairy child.

  • A Rooster Watching the Angels
    CRT monitor, 5.56mm NATO bullet casings, rooster feathers, slow-motion video
    A reference to a passage in the Hadith which mentions the rooster and donkey's calls as calls to prayer, (for one has seen an angel and the other a devil or Shaitan).

  • [ASMR] Relax with Fascist Censorship
    Video, sound, projections, books
    A video performance which collides the aesthetic of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos with book burning by fascist dictatorships throughout history.



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