Edmund Clark – Bending the Screen: Ekphrasis, Plain Sight and the Monster within

In Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, documentary, and the Citizen Prof. Fred Ritchin calls for image makers to seek new or alternative ways to make work to engage audiences and ideally affect change. Bending the Screen is a response to or an extension of that call. As the title of this talk suggests, however, the emphasis is shifted to think about the screens on which image makers and their audiences receive information about the subjects they explore.
Before bending their frames image makers must naturally consider how these subjects are represented and be aware of the images and texts that are present in their audiences’ minds or, indeed, absent. It is only through reflecting on the nuanced way information (image, text and imagetext) is imparted and received that artists, photographers and activists can hope to find strategies that reconfigure, question and ideally affect representation and even action.
This talk will consider my interest in the visuality of text in relation to ideas of evidence, absence and understanding with reference to four examples of my work: Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out, Orange Screen, Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition and My Shadow’s Reflection. It will reflect on unseen processes and experiences of contemporary conflict and incarceration.