A conversation with Clare Strand

The Constant Flux of Reappropriation

Clare Strand in a conversation with Ana Teresa Vicente

© Clare Strand, Girl in Two Halves, 2008

ANA T. VICENTE What is the central axis around which your work is constructed? What defines what you decide to work with next?

© Clare Strand, Scrapbook

​​​​CLARE STRAND I would say, the central functions of photography and how it is used in any number of different contexts, but ​​specifically the functional and utilitarian uses. What photography has been and where it is going. It’s failures and achievements. These all impact on what photography means to me, and how I can use it to make sense of the things that both interest and unsettle. However, saying this, nothing is fixed. My practice is more of a shapeshifting puzzle than an anchored set of interests and possibilities. Anything can trigger a sudden intuition or a long buried interest and the process and outcome starts changing shape naturally. Ideas exists over surprisingly long periods of times until without warning one idea pushes itself to the front – much like a back-marker in a race surging on to win.​

A.T.V. Most of your artwork addresses to the forms of vernacular imagery. How did vernacular photography become of your interest? C.S. I’ve collected images since I was young - in scrap books mostly. In retrospect I can see where my interests and approach to imagery started formulating. I appreciate the modesty and chameleon quality that vernacular imagery has - its very amenable and generous, at the same time its awkward and singular.

A.T.V. What role does research play in your practice? Does your practice shifts or expand, depending on the subject matter you are working on?

C.S. There is no simple conduit from research to practice. I’ve never seen research as a regular pattern. I prefer the analogy of my research being like rolling down a hill and coming to rest with the detritus of the journey being collected on my clothing. The research is the making as much as the making is the research...

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Interview published in ArchivoZine 17 / The Vernacular, In the Age of Visual Culture

Clare Strand visual artist

Ana Teresa Vicente is a FCT Research Fellow and Phd student at the University of Lisbon,

Faculty of Fine Arts, Artistic Studies Research Centre.

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