November 6, 2003 – January 10, 2004
Thursday, November 6th, 2003
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “The Atrocity Exhibition: Photographs by JoJo Whilden and John Gilliland.” Drawing inspiration from that which most would regard as evidence of loss or destruction, artists JoJo Whilden and John Gilliland independently photograph traces of (near-)accidents, transforming trauma and violence into something creative.
JoJo Whilden’s black-and-white photographs of skid marks on pavement were originally inspired by her desire to create “photographic” or “mechanical” drawings. Indeed, there is a gestural, limned quality to the soft swoops and curves of many of the skids she finds and records.
Along similar conceptual lines, John Gilliland prints his images on a very large scale calculatedly to resemble oversized modernist paintings. Gilliland’s photographs abstractly depict details of scrapes and gouges he finds along the concrete divides that run down the center of certain East Coast freeways.
Whilden and Gilliland aptly recognize the significance of their skids and scrapes, which stand as indices—physical traces of actual events. Just as the photograph has been critically noted as deriving much of its meaning and power as an index, the skid and scrape also exist as physical evidence of specific moments in time.
Such conceptual concerns are shared by J.G. Ballard, who actually exhibited a group of crashed cars from wreckers’ yards at the New Arts Laboratory in London in 1969. His ideas were then presented in his 1970 novel, The Atrocity Exhibition (from whence this exhibition derives its name), and later in his more widely known book, Crash, 1973.