Lucy Clout makes sculpture, performances and videos that dwell in an urban anthropology of the low, mundane and sordid. Subject matter has included spot squeezing, Skype therapy, webcam masturbation and the mouthings of soap opera extras. In Warm Bath (2016) household damp is the subject and given an almost mystical charge. The work is a home movie, as are many of her films, a looping fiction about the communal obsessions of seven women in a shared house.
Shrugging Offing (2013) used exclamations from group spot-squeezing videos posted online: ‘. The more time I spent with them, the more apparent it became that the screams perform different functions: they might be a kind of flirting, an indication of gleeful horror or ecstatic teamwork. They are group activities, but are usually made with the understanding that the resulting video will be distributed online, creating a doubling of the audience.'
Her videos manage to seem as seamy as her subjects, concentrating on the dirt of life with a determinedly low-fi aesthetic, taking the viewer with her through the scenic byways of banality, much of which is online: 'the internet is simply the site of encounter/liveness in some of my work. It’s a place where I can observe and explore desire using search logarithms and conversations with strangers. I’m deeply interested in what humans want from other humans'.
The edges of language, the neglected parts of speech, receive similar attention: The extra’s Ever Moving Lips (2014) uses 'the speech we might not expect to be held to account….speech can replicate physical sensations previously generated through touch. I see this in the spot-squeezing videos as well as in the Australian soaps. The division between speaking and touching isn’t all that clear-cut'.
A solo exhibition of new work ‘Warm Bath” opened in Limoncello Gallery, London in March 2016. Recent group shows include, Jerwood Space, London/CCA, Glasgow, UK (both 2015); International Project Space, V Arts Centre Shanghai and CAG Vancouver. Recent screenings include ICA, London; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham; Arnolfini, Bristol; VTape, Toronto (all (2015), Western Front, Vancouver, Canada; CCA Wattis San Francisco, USA (both 2014). Clout participated in the LUX Artist Associate program in 2010 and won the Jerwood / Film and Video Umbrella Award in 2015.
Dates & times
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|4 May 2016||5:30pm - 7:00pm|
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