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OPEN ROOMS #12: INDEPENDENTS BIENNIAL

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Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port

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Picturing England’s High Streets: Prescot

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Picturing England’s High Street: Chester

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First Light Spotlight: Parallel Histories

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HYPERTEXT: Books Beyond Bars – Felix McNulty in conversation with Sarah Jane Baker

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HYPERTEXT: Ruth White – The Role of the Photobook in Representing the British Working Classes

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HYPERTEXT: Jason Evans – Sound & Vision

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HYPERTEXT: ROOT-ed Zine – Our Experience of Navigating through Arts and Media as People of Colour

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HYPERTEXT: Present and Continuous Q&A with Liz Wewiora and the Many Hands Craft Collective

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HYPERTEXT: Rose Nordin of OOMK in conversation with Kerol Izwan of Musotrees

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HYPERTEXT: Jade Montserrat in conversation with Nikita Gill

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HYPERTEXT: Sam Hutchinson in conversation with Aram Sabbah of Skatepal

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Peer to Peer HK/UK — Lee Wing Ki: Night Walk (an excerpt)

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Peer to Peer: UK / HK

11 November 2020

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Crowd of Palms, Stephen Clarke, 1987
Dunkin Donuts, Stephen Clarke, 1987
San Diego Zoo Crocodiles, Stephen Clarke, 1987

Alien Resident: San Diego Photographs 1986-1987, by Stephen Clarke

Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC) from 6th November to 2nd December 2020

From 1986 through to the summer of 1987, Stephen Clarke lived in San Diego in southern California. This one-year residency followed his undergraduate studies in Fine Art at Newport College of Art in South Wales, where he had been introduced to the work of New Topographics photographers by his tutors Keith Arnatt, Ron McCormick and Ian Walker. Clarke was also familiar with the work of the artists John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. These influences formed the background to the photographs Clarke took during this brief period.

The title of the exhibition at Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC) is taken from Clarke’s status in the USA as a ‘resident alien’. This was Clarke’s legal designation as someone who lived there, but did not have the full rights of a citizen; like many others, he was separate from the country where he now resided. Specifically, the title refers to Clarke’s unfamiliarity with southern California as a place – he was ‘out-of-place’, an alien in the landscape.

This current exhibition has evolved from photobooks published by Craig Atkinson at Café Royal Books. Atkinson has become known for publishing the work of British documentary photographers. Clarke has contributed a number of titles to Café Royal Books, in particular, four collections of photographs of Rhyl, the North Wales seaside resort. Throughout 2019, Café Royal Books released four photobooks of Clarke’s San Diego photographs. Many of these pictures of southern California are included in this exhibition along with previously unpublished work.

Contemporary Art Space Chester is part of the University of Chester, and is supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council. CASC’s gallery is located in the centre of Chester, close to the Town Hall and the Cathedral. The principal purpose of CASC is to provide a platform for the Department of Art and Design at the University of Chester to showcase work and test research. Clarke’s exhibition is comprised of unframed work prints that begin to map out his larger archive of photographs.

Further information

Details of the exhibition ‘Alien Resident: San Diego Photographs 1986 – 1987’ at Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC).

Mike Pinnington writes about Stephen Clarke’s San Diego Photographs for The Double Negative:

Café Royal Books have published four San Diego books

Images

Crowd of Palms, Stephen Clarke, 1987

Dunkin Donuts, Stephen Clarke, 1987

San Diego Zoo Crocodiles, Stephen Clarke, 1987

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