Walking the Line: Bruce Clarke

29 January - 13 March 2021 Berlin

In the artist's first solo exhibition at the ARTCO Gallery Berlin, we are presenting works from two important series by the artist Bruce Clarke, who was born in London in 1959.

 

Bruce Clarke grew up in England after his parents left South Africa in 1958 to continue the fight against the South African apartheid regime in exile. Clarke continued with his parents' commitment in Europe and has been committed to a free and equal society in South Africa - and the rest of the world - since his youth.

 

Walking the Line connects the artist's intentions on which both work cycles are based.

 

The works from Fantômes de la Mer relate uncompromisingly to the dramatic situation of refugees in Africa and the associated international human trafficking, caused by the isolationist policy of the European Union. Clarke paints partially larger than life, alienated portraits of people as a tribute to those who made their way across the Mediterranean Ocean to Europe in search of economic and political security. People have been dying here for years without audible complaints, without burials.By shadowing bodies behind a thin metaphorical wall of water, he raises the question of Europe's responsibility. These are images that emphasize human dignity and make it clear that the spirits of people who die every day at the gates of Europe accompany us daily and are part of our society.

 

Clarke's second large series of works, Predators, is at first glance a break from his previous visual language. Instead of people, depictions of animals appear superficially in his pictures. Despite the different symbolism, Predators is still a coherent continuation of the narrative of his remaining oeuvre. The large, depicted predators are metaphorical for human domination and illustrate the predatory and merciless attributes of our species.

 

It depicts Homo Sapiens as both a financial, sexual, and ecological predator and its prey.