Text by Susan Bright
Essay by Gareth Syvret
Clare Rae’s Never standing on two feet serves as both an ode to the legendary avant-garde queer artist and writer Claude Cahun and a telling expansion of the Melbourne artist’s own performative photographic practice. The body of work – which was made during a 2017 residency with Archisle: the Jersey Contemporary Photography Programme to research the Cahun archive held by Jersey Heritage – repositions Rae’s particular mode of self-portraiture to fall in the windswept Jersey landscape. In the process, it places her practice in direct conversation with that of Cahun, an artist who was associated with the Parisian surrealist movement in the 1920s, before relocating to Jersey with her female partner Marcel Moore in the 1930s, where she would create the vast archive gender-ambiguous portraits for which she later garnered such acclaim. Rae’s work not only considers Cahun’s relationship to the history, cultural and geographical landscape of Jersey, but enacts a wider investigation and subversion of the male gaze and its relationship to both the female body and our imagining of the landscape.
About the Artist
Clare Rae is an artist based in Melbourne, Australia. In her photographic practice Clare explores ideas of performance and gesture to interrogate and subvert dominant modes of representation. Her work is informed by feminist theory, and presents an alternate and often awkward experience of subjectivity and the female body, usually the artists’ own.
About the Publisher
Perimeter Editions is the in-house publishing imprint of Perimeter Books. Launched in August 2012, its focus rests on publishing autonomous limited-run artist books featuring artists and photographers from Australia and abroad.