Monet Clark is primarily a performance/video artist, but works in other mediums including photography & drawings. She is also a vocalist & sings currently with the legendary band Chrome. Her subjects often reference ways in which women are represented in media, culture & subculture, & they can be autobiographical. In her recent performance/video works she performs vignettes involving, iconic, campy & idealized female characters found in California subculture and Americana in general. She utilizes a performance minimalism & the visual language of the fashion world as a backdrop. The final pieces then act as glamorous moving portraits. Simultaneously charming & repellent, personal & political, feminist & feminine, ironic & real, sacred & mundane, her works are rituals for transmutation. They are raw & at the same time refined, wickedly humorous & hold a powerful intimacy.
Monet began photographing in grade school. During the 80's she photographed her Punk friends in a series of pregnant nude portraits. This work won her a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989. Even though she was close to graduation at S.F. State University as a Liberal Arts major, she transferred to SFAI. She continued to win scholarships & received her BFA in Photography, while she also became involved in the conceptual Performance/Video (P/V) Department. Her work was published twice in 1991 in the radical On Our Backs Magazine. She was accepted into SFAI’s P/V Department for her MFA & began to exhibit her video works internationally, but all this halted when she fell seriously ill from poisoning from toxic environmental contamination. She documented the stages of this experience in several bodies of works, framing real life events as performances. Subsequent to her decade long recovery she began again to exhibit.
Clark recently screened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2010. In 2011 she was part of a screening in conjunction with the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive for its book Radical Light. She as well had a solo show at Krowswork Gallery in Oakland, CA. In 2012 she screened at Chicago’s RAPID PULSE International Performance Art Festival in June, at Los Angeles’ Synchronicity Gallery in July, & in San Francisco she hung a two person show with Dale Hoyt at Gallery Heist, as well as screened at ATA. In 2013 she's exhibited at Portland State's Gallery January 3rd-February 22 as part of a group show curated by Jennifer Locke and was featured by Krownwork Gallery at ArtPadSF & performed with Chrome in Chicago.
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE SOLO SHOW AT KROWSWORK GALLERY
Oakland, CA 11/12-12/17
Krowswork is very pleased to present Monet Clark: California Girl - A Retrospective Debut
Featuring two decades of performance/video by Clark, this is her first solo exhibition. Interested in using art as a vehicle for transmutation for herself as well as her audience, Clark throughout her career has often framed real life events as performance art presented as video and photographs. Simultaneously charming and repellent, personal and political, feminist and feminine, ironic and real, sacred and mundane, these works embody a host of contrasts that together provide an iconographic video portrait of 21st-century California culture and this one-of-a-kind California Girl.
The retrospective features video made in the early 1990s when the artist was newly graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, in which Clark, as both director and performer, exposes herself in ways ostensibly meant to engage the (male) gaze. Yet in each of them there is a built-in revulsion, and the expectation of a purely sensual, one-sided show is soon thwarted.
The middle portion of the retrospective presents for the first time pieces made during Clark's decade-long fight against an extreme form of Environmental Illness (EI). These include a four-hour intensive piece titled 12 Frames of Isolation as well as photographic works documenting her emaciated body during the illness juxtaposed with her healthier form post-recovery.
The most recent group of works, then, provides an aesthetic and energetic catharsis. Titled the "Look Book" series, these bold yet minimal videos date from 2011 and Clark's full return to artmaking, where she is "coming out" in her newly, emergent, healthy body. The resultant pieces are sumptuously spare, raw and honest, wickedly humorous, and hold a powerful intimacy.