Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time
New work by Clare Strand
29 April - 6 June 2015



Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time is an exhibition of new work by British artist Clare Strand. The exhibition will employ kinetic machines, film and photography to reveal Strand's discordant relationship with the photographic medium, exploring its promise and limitations through unexpected and eccentric means.

Exhibition insight by Dr Chris Mullen (April 2015)

It is the conventional aim of art and its display in our culture to achieve its full aesthetic potential, aiming at a working perfection to be judged by professional critics and commentators. Photography exhibited on gallery walls aspires to the perfect surface, a fastidious and permanent manufacture for purchase.

Clare Strand's exhibition Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time explores a reverse trajectory, the conditions and consequences of entropy, the unremitting decline into decay and destruction of the manufactured image through the agency of a series of mechanical devices that are themselves ultimately doomed to failure and destruction.

The effects of decline and decay are documented in the gallery, making themselves an aggregation of the very entropy suffered by images in our everyday world. What may appear a failure during the show is in itself an observed feature of the deterioration of the photographic image that proponents of the medium will rarely admit to.

A case study in the exhibition is a pendulum activated to destruct the surface of a reproduction of an archival photograph. Originated under specific conditions and bearing clear conditions for use, these images, selected to represent previous research interests of the artist's, were once crucial to the understanding of a societal issue. The artist has made a reproduction of the original, having taken them one remove from the confines of a storage system. They are then subjected to arbitrary rubbing, shredding and obliteration of the surface. The results are framed daily to present a running account of the process.