Clare Strand’s project The Seven Basic Propositions uses taglines from a selection of 1950’s Kodak magazine adverts. These ‘propositions’ point to the early excitement about the possibilities for photography as a mass participatory medium. Yet when they are removed from their original context and used to drive Google image searches, the images take on a different meaning by hinting at the incessant proliferation of photography in all areas of our life. Even though the original advertising slogans sound unequivocal and definite, The Seven Basic Propositions project playfully reveals the limitations of this earlier promise. It also shows that, when everything is recorded and made available to everybody, nothing is really unique or singular – and particularly so in the domain of photography.
The Seven Basic Propositions is an installation version of the website Clare Strand made several years ago:
The project has been programmed to be an autonomous work that can be used by anyone who wants to use it – as long as they have a space, a touch screen and a projector. The projection fires single Google images out at the viewer.
The work is currently being exhibited for the PixSea award in Belgium, at Photofestival Knokke-Heist.
Install images from Seven Basic Propositions, ‘ Because Photography is Colourful’
Clare Strand is a British photographic artist. Her constant passion is the appeal of utilitarian photography, where aesthetic issues are secondary to specific formulations and generic expectations. Research stimulates much of this dynamic. The hinterland to her image making is provided by a childhood upbringing, where a family life in a suburban cul-de-sac was confounded by true crime magazines, ominous supernatural events, Paul Daniels on Sunday evenings, a father obsessed by exactitude and a flasher who lived in the house opposite. Recent (2011) solo and group shows include, Signs of a Struggle: Photography in the Wake of Postmodernism, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Falling Up: The Gravity of Art, The Courtauld Gallery, London; Sleight, Brancolini Grimaldi, London and The Wonders of the Invisible World, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland. Strand’s first monograph, published by Steidl and Partners (2009), was launched with her first major show, Clare Strand: Fotografie und Video at the Museum Folkwang, Essen. She is represented by Brancolini Grimaldi, London.