MA Studies > Fine art > Fine art alumnus > Clara Turchi

Clara Turchi

Alumnus
Death, The Archive and The Womb
Liquid Documents (C.T. 2009-2013) as installed at AcademieGalerie, Utrecht, June 2014
Liquid Documents (C.T. 2009-2013), Installation view, AG, June 2014. The image of the face of the man inside the vessel liquified during the exhibition, as it is the same scraped-off material as the rest of the Liquid Documents
Untitled from Persistency of Death (Desire of Memory), 2012. Scraped-off black and white darkroom print
I feel that some day they may see the light of day and perhaps shock or divert posterity a little. Research installation, HKU July 2014. On the wall: found, scanned and reprinted documents and Res Derelicta. On the desk: Albums, batik box, desires, other
Res Derelicta, 2014. Inkjet ink sprayed on objects placed on inkjet paper
Album, 2014. Scraped-off material (from Cibachrome paper) transferred onto photographs in a vintage album
Liquid Documents (C.T. 2009-2013) as installed at AcademieGalerie, Utrecht, June 2014
Liquid Documents (C.T. 2009-2013), Installation view, AG, June 2014. The image of the face of the man inside the vessel liquified during the exhibition, as it is the same scraped-off material as the rest of the Liquid Documents
Untitled from Persistency of Death (Desire of Memory), 2012. Scraped-off black and white darkroom print
I feel that some day they may see the light of day and perhaps shock or divert posterity a little. Research installation, HKU July 2014. On the wall: found, scanned and reprinted documents and Res Derelicta. On the desk: Albums, batik box, desires, other
Res Derelicta, 2014. Inkjet ink sprayed on objects placed on inkjet paper
Album, 2014. Scraped-off material (from Cibachrome paper) transferred onto photographs in a vintage album


The intuitive proximity between the archive, or rather my archive, and the womb is reflected in my work: Liquid Documents (C.T. 2009-2013), made in 2014, is an archive of all my photographic interests, subjects, desires, obsessions between 2009 and 2013. Specifically, it is an installation of glass vessels of various shapes and dimensions containing photographic images melted down into liquid form. These liquids are the result of the action of removing - by scraping - millimetric layers of surface off photographic darkroom prints, subsequently bottled with a small amount of water. In time the images melt down into pure color and, per the reaction of the chemicals, continue changing and layering depending on light, temperature conditions and other unknown elements that pertain, and by choice remain in the domain of alchemy, the unknown, and the future. 

Paralleling the amniotic liquid environment of the womb, the ever changing[1]liquefied photographs reflect on the dichotomy death-life (immortality-memory) present within photography, the archive and the womb itself, and they resonate with the struggle of the archival act of looking backwards at past events in order to gain new life, that is, in order to gain the future.

 

The theme of the archival promise - the promise to give immortal life, and to be as much an opening to the future as a coming back to the place of commencement - is at the core of the work titled Persistency of Death (Desire of Memory), from 2012. In here, photographs from my family albums are selected, re-photographed, darkroom printed and finally scraped using the same technique that produces, among others, the LiquidDocumentsmentioned earlier. The installation comprehends both the scraped-off prints, where the removal of the first few layers of surface off the prints  (symbolic of my digging into the archive, into my family, into me, into death and the womb) still leaves a completely visible image that now acquires a rather ghostly presence, and the vessels where this surface is collected and bottled with water. In this work the liquids are called desires

 

On a final note, the quality of the archive as being deprived of a metaphysical counterpart, being it always the archive of an archivist, became clear to me whilst working on I feel that some day they may see the light of day and perhaps shock or divert posterity a little[2], in June 2014.

The open ended installation is a studio of the archive as a physical space and comprises various degrees of found material, the majority of it found on the streets during my life, and part of it being bought second hand. Despite the components having all been obtained – mostly by chance - from other people with other stories, it is immediately evident how the space becomes extremely personal, the expression of one entity, the archivist, who whom assigned value to that material. In relation to the work as installed at HKU in July 2014, artist and professor Tiong Ang commented that ‘It looks like an explosion of the mind of the artist’ confirming that it is rather impossible to divide the archive from the archivist.

Part of I feel that some day…  are individual works which contribute to investigate aspects of interest about the archive, such as the Albums, Ashes and the Res Derelicta.This last one is a collection of prints of rather large found objects which are often difficult to keep and store due to space, time and money limitations. In the urgency of making them anyhow part of my archive and in the anxiety of loosing them because of the said limitations, I often improvise a daylight-darkroom with available tools, and I replicate the process of making photograms by spraying inkjet inks onto the objects now laid on inkjet paper. The work resonates with Derrida’s predicate that ‘the death drive tends thus to destroy the hypomnesic archive, except if it can be disguised, made up, painted, printed, represented as the idol of its truth in painting’ (p.14).

In the Res Derelicta the objects are lost again, leaving a ghostly impression in the economy of what professor Ang called ‘the future of the archive’. 

[1] Based on 3 years observation 

[2] the title of the work is a quote from the introduction of 'Chips: The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon";.book page found in Amsterdam, Spring 2014


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