In her image-based practice, Clunie Reid employs a degraded, deskilled approach to analyse and comment upon commodity status and industrial standardisation. Found and staged images are subject to intense re-workings through an arbitrary combination of digital manipulation, collage and a diversity of printing processes. As the work builds, fragments of information are embedded by chance as much as by hand in the developing piece, acquiring Reid’s chaotic, layered aesthetic style. “Works are degraded through photographing, converting from positive and negative, and I play off both,” she says. “There are constant metonymic links structuring the work: you’ll see repetitions of discs, light flare as well as repetitions of bodies, adhesive stickers, anthropomorphised animals. I’m responding to glossy media, shedding a lot of seriousness, stripping the original images of their phallic, high-tech production values and transforming them into something more abjectly physical.”
Reid examines representations and relationships between the internal and external, image and text, perception and understanding, looking particularly at advertising imagery. A contemporary idea of beauty is challenged and dismantled by the artist’s use of cheap materials and direct interventions on the surface of works with black markers, acts of apparent sabotage that demystify the highly-constructed visuals of the mass media. For their presentation, images are printed directly on aluminium without being laminated, gaffer-taped to the wall and arranged to make a non-hierarchical, non-linear arrangement which can be scanned and negotiated in no particular order.
“I’m thinking a lot about the relationship between an autonomous image and text, as a self-reflective internal space,” she notes. “Subversion is not my project. I think of the work more as analysing certain things structurally, what is concealed in certain forms of image and modes of expression.”
Clunie Reid, born 1971, is a London-based artist and a BA graduate of Wimbledon College of Art (1992) and an MA at the Royal College of Art (1995). Recent exhibitions include ‘Art Now,’ Tate Britain (2010), ‘Free,’ New Museum, New York (2010) and ‘Dumb Down, Get Dressed, Move Out’ at Studio Voltaire, London in association with the Elephant Trust. In 2009, she was the John Jones Prize Winner at the Zoo Art Fair. She tutors in Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s and is represented by MOT International, London.