clara conrado

THIRD by artist Clara Conrado is a network of objects and events spread across 3 environments:
(1) RAIN @ The Show (2024) @ ECUAD &&
(2) Virtual through Livestream (1) (2)
(3) THIRD @ No Parking Gallery *

Opening Reception {MAY 9, 6PM-12AM) featuring the last live performance of BOYMODER (8PM 05.09).

(1) RAIN (the show 2024 @ ecuad)

RAIN is a 4-piece installation using a 77″ screen and a modified projector as materials. The almost mobile-like or spiraled walkway within the work diverges from the projection, treated as a plane in 3-dimensional space, akin to the topological deformations within the markings present in the work. Painted exclusively with the use of a heat-gun, and the fragments falling apart from the screen’s displacement from alleyways to my studio.

This installation is in suspension, belonging in precariousness, marked by attempts to formulate a visual language within the host itself. The amber panels embody and share on their surfaces the use of heat as an imprint of the images made on the larger curtain that grounds and centers the work. The markings, entirely made on the larger piece from which the amber shards were shed, engage complex relations of transference of heat, of energy, of ontology, from one object to the other that completes it. This is work that, on a baseline level, deals with and brings to the viewer their own relations to the dynamics present in the work. “How does one piece relate to the other, and further, how do I (as the viewer) relate to myself in relation to these reflexive surfaces?”

RAIN, in a theoretical framing, was inspired by psychoanalytic interpretations of the surface as a material through critical readings of Lacan, and in a new investment in what can be considered immateriality. At what point does even the material, after its consumption cycle, after it is entirely extracted and isolated from its components, become something unrecognizable at a glance and through? An exploration in the relation to ontology that objects have, and how we relate to objects as non-subjects, continually asking the question: what does it take to be a subject, and how can that relation be complicated or questioned in a visual art form?

The projection of a 2D plane behind the work is a repetition—a doubling of the work itself in a separate context. At No Parking Gallery, after the recent passing of my uncle this year, who worked at a video store in my early childhood, I came across the relation of a DVD case qua casket. In a room-like setup, a PlayStation console is loaded with a burnt copy of Blade (2000) on a large CRT TV as an invitation for attendants to perform the game/play the game, and a webcam captures the view of the game along with the image of a projector layered over the CRT and onto a large white sheet.

(2) Livestream

view of No Parking Gallery (THIRD).

view of ECUAD (The Show 2024).

The virtual, as the feelings related to being watched, of being able to be identifiably seen doubled across to a different space, is a sentiment that I believe at this point is ubiquitous. The presentation of this work as a doubling, as an inaudible feedback loop between two spaces, is a rich realm that I have explored in my work previously.

The interactions present in this experiment have not yet existed as they will be live-performed during the opening night of both shows on May 9. Conceptually, however, they both function as a subjectification of the art itself, allowing the work to capture what it sees and experiences, and allowing for distance in viewership as photographic time-based captures of the mundane, existing during night hours when the work is not on display, in-between moments, and periods of installation.

The viewer is taken into account in holding the choice to be seen through the work. This relation is theoretically redundant if we were to take into account that the gaze is never unidirectional.

This element of the work also functions as documentation of both spaces, an invitational piece that bridges the two spaces together, and in functioning as its own space, accessible via QR code and links (1) & (2).

(3) THIRD @ No Parking Gallery

THIRD is a solo exhibition and the culmination of a newly created large body of work. Curated and produced by the artist, the space of No Parking Gallery serves as a reminder of empty galleries, a white-walled house with a large backyard approaching slowly a demolition date. It is felt to function similarly to a lot of the work and was originally planned as the space to provide a warm environment for attendees to engage with the work communally.

This exhibit features a generous selection of my most recent work regarding screens, alongside my first pieces engaging experimentally with generative artificial intelligence as a material flow of image, organized near-chronologically in their production. THIRD as a whole embodies themes of inexistence, virtuality, identification, and time. The title is in reference to Deleuze’s third conjunctive synthesis.

photos taken by the artist of the installation @ No Parking Gallery.

Materials + Process

Through different kinds of mark-making approaches that included durational exposure to rain or heat (heat-gun, torches, soldering iron), these pieces exist now as markers of my initial establishment of language across this new material exploration. Each work explores the ways the screen as object invites desire (i.e. through light, the structure of its surface (smooth, black, reflexive), our historical engagement through the gaze) and the transformation of ontology through the other, as in the question: how do screens (as mirrors) function in our relation to the world around ourselves? — and through that question towards new syntheses of meaning.