During her recent yearlong residency at Gallery 44 (2016-17), Michèle Pearson Clarke focused on the relationship between texture and sound and listening and touching and feeling and looking and seeing Blackness that has led to her current preoccupation with analogue photography. Despite photography’s problematic historical relationship with representing Blackness, Clarke has been compelled by her ongoing research on affect and black visuality—as well as her own experiences of looking at Blackness in a photograph—to enrich her practice by learning to produce photographic images using film. Building on her investments in vulnerability, failure and repair, A Welcome Weight on My Body documents this shift from theory to practice, centering the learning process as a site of inquiry and investigation.
Read the exhibition essay here.
Michèle Pearson Clarke (b. 1973) is a Trinidad-born artist who works in photography, film, video and installation. Her work has been shown across Canada and internationally, including recent exhibitions at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Mercer Union, ltd los angeles, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Ryerson Image Centre. Based in Toronto, she holds an MSW from the University of Toronto, and she received her MFA from Ryerson University in 2015, when she was awarded both the Ryerson University Board of Governors Leadership Award and Medal and the Ryerson Gold Medal for the Faculty of Communication + Design. From 2016-2017, Clarke was artist-in-residence at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, and she was the EDA Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough for the Winter term 2018. Clarke’s writing has been published in Canadian Art and Transition Magazine, and she is currently teaching in the Documentary Media Studies program at Ryerson University.
Michèle wishes to express sincere appreciation for the Access and Career Development Grant funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.