A Chance Encounter Between an Umbrella and a Sewing Machine

James Clarkson

Rhubaba are delighted to announce A Chance Encounter Between an Umbrella and a Sewing Machine, the first Scottish exhibition by James Clarkson. The show takes its title from Comte de Lautréamont’s 19th century prose poem, ‘Les Chants de Maldoror’, a seminal work of literature often sighted as an influence on the methodologies of French Symbolist, Dada and Surrealist movements during the 1920’s. Lautréamont was himself influenced by the works of Baudelaire and the two shared an interest in the random possibilities or associations that occur when two unrelated objects or concepts meet in an unfamiliar situation.

From this basis, and taking Lautréamont’s text as a particular reference point, Clarkson will present a number of existing works reconfigured for the Rhubaba Gallery in an attempt to tease out tensions and relationships between disparate pieces. The title of the exhibition, aside from its significance as a historical reference, is also used as a means of reflecting upon Clarkson’s use of found objects in the fabrication of his works.

The work ‘Two Birds in Space,’ previously exhibited as a public artwork, has been moved into the gallery and is presented as an expansive print, becoming a backdrop to the sculptural works on show. Brancusi’s ‘Bird in Space’ is pressed against a woman’s rear, clad in gold hotpants, that meld with the masterpiece. Clarkson brings together the formal attributes that circle between each of the images, allowing an equality of form to occur between them.

James Clarkson is an artist based in Sheffield. Recent Exhibitions include User Selection – Driven Evolution, Supercollider, Blackpool; How to be a Magician in Your Spare Time, Kunst Projects, Berlin; The Palace at 4am, Pavement, Permanent Gallery, Brighton; Matt Roberts Salon Art Prize, Matt Roberts, London (all shows 2011). James has recently finished a design commission for artist Haroon Mirza’s solo exhibition at Spike Island, Bristol, and was selected as one of Modern Painters’, 100 ‘Artists to Watch’, December/January 2012.