Elly Clarke visiting lecture

I really enjoyed this weeks lecture and I especially loved Elly Clarke’s work. Previous work we have been shown in the class I havent really understood the meanings behind them for example; Bill Viola’s ‘The Reflecting Pool’. I know some things have multiple and deeper meanings but I enjoyed the way Elly had obvious meanings for all her projects and after speaking and reading about her work, you can see what she’s trying to portray.

The project I liked the most was ‘Moscow to Beijing’, which was  series of three videos called; ‘Conversations’, ‘Trans-siberia’ and ‘Translations’ and there was also some photos that were taken by people she met on her journey. Here is a YouTube link that basically tells you all about the project.

I really liked this project because I liked the way Elly sort of just jumped into it, although she had planned a fair bit beforehand, she still didn’t know anything about languages or travelling and it seemed like a lot more hard work than she thought. But I think her thought process was a really good idea because she could have taken a stereotypical tourist point of view but instead she wanted to get a point of view straight from the locals.

Elly told us that a lot of her work/projects were hardly ever funded so she had to find ways to earn some extra money. One very succesful way that Elly discovered was to sell her work on eBay. The way it worked was, Elly pledged to take a photo at a certain time or place and then that image would go to whom ever had bought the ‘not yet existing’ photo on eBay. She did this for a project in India in 2008 and also in Trans-siberia 2005/06.

Another project Elly showed us was ‘The Broadway house photo project’. Basically this project was about the flats that she had been living in for a few years and decided that she wanted to basically get the know the people who she’s never met and interact with them in some way. The way in which she did this was to give them all a camera and ask them to take three photos each, She managed to get 12 of the residents from the flats the get involved. This started of as small project but she managed to get some funding from Hackney Community empowerment network which meant Elly could go further within this project and it also meant she could set up an exhibition close by, which many of the residents who worked in the project went to.

This was the other project that I really liked because as she was telling the class about it I felt like people could relate to her ideas and thoughts because there’s so many situations were you are with people, either for a long time or not, and you don’t know anything about them. For example in my first year at university when I was living in halls, I didn’t know anyone apart from the people in my block but there was 40+ more blocks of people who I never knew/met. I just really liked her thought process for this project and found that it worked well because some of the images I really like, they seem really repetitive but I think this works because it shows that everyone living in these particular flats are thinking/feeling the same thing towards them. Here’s someo photos from the project..

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