SARAH SCOUT PRESENTS I CLAIRE LAMBE
Over the past two decades, Claire Lambe has engaged the material and transformative possibilities of sculpture—and more recently the relationships between object/form and image/photograph—to unsettle conventional notions around gender, sexuality, identity and class. Her work particularly draws upon personal histories in relation to the sexual promiscuity and violence associated with the experimental art, music and club scenes of late 1970s Northern England and often draws our attention to the ways in which power dynamics might be signified through popular culture. Trained as a sculptor, and known for her strange and often abject sculptural forms, Lambe’s work engages the female body to address underlying histories of sexuality, violence and social discontent. Lambe’s recent work explores psychological narratives, leading to anxious objects and images full of revelatory and emancipatory potential. In a deeply subjective and sometimes transgressive practice of psychodrama and catharsis, she draws upon a rich bank of personal history and reference material as a starting point for her investigation into the ambiguity between memory and experience, reality and re-enactment.These new images, presented as work in progress within the artist’s studio, comprise a series of tableaux that are at once uncanny, anarchic and full of life and libido. Made in a contemporary moment, Lambe’s works make reference to a remembered cultural or personal experience but do not seek to represent the experience of everyday life. Rather, the highly staged, performative photographs are reminiscent of film stills, depicting images of family and friends in compositions that reference the cinema of Helke Sander and Pier Paolo Pasolini, and highlighting the illusory with their interplay of fact and fiction.