Ami Clarke – Unknown Unknowns.
Campbell Works press release.
For this solo exhibition the artist will present a new body of work consisting of a conundrum of folding screens. The works self-assemblage flat pack form, references modular and temporary architectural space, and such structures as the ubiquitous ‘exhibition stand’ of the trade fair. The screen device unfolds in the gallery space, both navigating territory, whilst refuting permanence as it becomes its own logo; its own legend.
The title for the show draws on a comment made by Donald Rumsfeld, the former US Secretary of Defense during a news briefing in 2002 that betrays itself, in its seemingly absurd investigation into what might be regarded as the truth. As a statement essentially designed to put the general public and media off the scent, it displayed a remarkable lack of self-awareness, as it alludes to the actual activity of ‘covering up’ the truth, and mention of the ideological ‘unknown knowns’ that structure society itself.
Throughout the exhibition, a sense of device, of something happening just off-screen, lingers in the air. The shift in perception that is experienced whilst viewing ‘Studies in Space Intuitions’ hints at this human projection. Our world is revealed as artifice and design, riddled with device, wile and ruse, strategem and manoeuvre.
Created for Campbell Works editions, the audio work ‘Anti-clockwise’, a dub-plate recording of bathwater turning down the plug-hole in the northern hemisphere, takes a common misunderstanding known as coriolis, as its reference point. The work itself relies on the clockwise device of the turntable, not only to play the recording, but by doing so, to simultaneously delete itself; leaving the spent vinyl disc as token of the artwork.
Unknown Unknowns… “ ..the things we do not yet know that we do not know.” Donald Rumsfeld