Chris Clarke

26.06.10 - 17.07.10

Chris Clarke - This will not last as long as you 

+44 141 Gallery, are pleased to present a new film installation by London based Chris Clarke, with support from The Elephant Trust. 

Chris Clarke is an artist whose work frequently explores the processes and making of moving images. In his work filmic techniques are used to explore specific aesthetic, structural and conceptual aspects of filmmaking, they become films about being films. Often using methods across mediums; transferring footage shot on outmoded equipment to advanced formats of presentation, crushing the image and narrative into intricate feedback loops. Clarke has repeatedly used an anachronological approach, revealing a perceived past as a present-past and collapsing the temporality of the film inwards upon itself. 

This will not last as long as you is a new commission that begins with the exhibition invite; a photograph taken by the artist as a boy of his father, his 1974 Mark IV Triumph Spitfire against the backdrop of Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. The Spitfire is an archetypal British man’s vintage sports car, built as part of the post-war manufacturing boom in Coventry, close to the artist’s birthplace from the 1960’s up until the 1980. 

Within the gallery, Clarke present a portrait of the car, shot on 16mm film transferred to digital video, outside the family home in Kenilworth, perhaps shot shortly after the car arrived from the factory. The car is captured in close detail; its wheels, lights, bodywork, the footage of the object has the appearance of a home movie, recording a moment in family history. Slippage’s occur in sites and moments; a conversation is held seemingly off camera, revealed in fact within the car’s dark garage space. The artist then enters, twice, this skip in time brings the setting up to date. 

Over time the car has been repaired, parts replaced as needed retaining its authenticity, the car has been cared for. Its age, however is visible, a foot rubs against the door, leather is worn away, relationships between man and machine have been developed through time, like that of father and son. The film ends with the closing of a loop between the invite image and its restaging some twenty-one years later. 

Alongside the film, sit a 16mm film projector and a photograph. Clarke sets up a delicate process of osmosis between object/image/light/audio. The engine becomes silent within the framed picture, its usual functions are now carried out by the projector. It emits the sound of the car’s engine and in doing so becomes an animated object inverse to its normal role of image making.