Claire A. Warden is a newly emerging artist whose work explores issues of place, preservation, identity, and performance. Her work heavily relies on constructed photographs.
Claire’s project, Mimesis, has an interesting approach to photography. These constructed photographs take form of other worldly landscapes that are both intimate and celestial.
As stated earlier, most of Claire's work relies on constructing actual photographs rather than 'taking' them. Mimesis, albeit a quite unique, is no exception. She uses her own saliva to manipulate silver gelatin. Beyond simply imagery, Claire's work becomes a performance in a way.
Here is Claire's artists statement for the body of work named Mimesis:
"This series represents an ongoing search to understand the internal and external forces that accumulate and compound identity. When looking at these images, the urge to ask “what is it?” echoes the question, “what are you?” a question that has been directed towards me countless times. Being raised in a family with a diverse ethnic heritage has led me to reflect on the fluid, abstract nature of identity, which informs my use of photography.
I use saliva and manual manipulation as part of my photographic process, which steers the work away from the signifying functions inherent to the medium of photography. These methods are used as symbolic acts to expose the biologic and socio-cultural forces that stimulate the emergence and performance of an identity. This process produces a series of images that reveal certain truths in identity and simultaneously the inadequacies of language to describe oneself. Resembling systems of the natural sciences—microscopic, topographic and celestial—the photographs allegorize the complexity of systems that make up an individual and the perception of self."