Exhibition Review | Clark Beaumont: Now and Then

Since 2013, The Walls has firmly established itself as a hub of creative practice, critical dialogue and innovative thinking around contemporary art on the Gold Coast. Under the creative directorship of Rebecca Ross, The Walls exhibits an exciting array of artists that explore what it means to be human in today’s world.

Fitting perfectly with this credo, Now and Then is an elegantly articulate question about our lived experience. Clark Beaumont is the Brisbane-based artistic collaboration of Nicole Beaumont and Sarah Clark. Through performance and time-based media, the pair experiment with multiple feminine personas and characters to recreate and reflect on their individual and intersubjective experiences.

Now and Then is an impressive work that deftly showcases the pair’s technical and conceptual virtuosity. Comprised of three performance-video installations: Restless, Now and Then and Stay Up, the overall effect is of an immersive, sensory experience that wrestles with the largely private and complex spaces of emotion and perception. Before our eyes the transient states of discomfort, connection and disconnection, dissociation, and frustration unfold.

Upon entry to the space I was struck by the highly theatrical nature of the works. Their close placement together suggests three different acts of an absurdist play, as within the fictionalised scenarios their characters endure repetitive and hopeless actions that achieve no end result. The futility of their actions engages with dark humour, yet in the end the joke’s on us.

Now and Then holds a mirror up to our inner and outer selves. In Clark Beaumont’s attempts to understand themselves and how they relate to others, we, too, are compelled to join them.

Clark Beaumont: Now and Then is running at The Walls from 12-26 March 2016

PHOTO: STAY UP [2015], single channel video, 20min:6sec.

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