Class of 2012 – Clara Prioux

You only have to be on Clara Prioux’s website for about a minute to realise that the recent MFA graduate, from the ESAD of Strasbourg, has a fascination with the Untied States of America. And I feel it is that fascination and curiosity that rubs onto the viewer to start to look closely at her work and really appreciate what she is doing. The set of images I have chosen for Class of 2012 are images that belong to a project called ‘American Album’ which has two sub projects within. The sub projects are called ‘Waiting For Fun Wishing For Dollars’ and ‘Première Amérique’, the interesting thing to note between these two sub projects is that one set of these images are shot in the South of France with an obvious ‘American style’ which in return makes them hard to differentiate from actual United Staes of America. For this reason I have decided on an edit that combines the two, so if you want to find out which places are where you going to have to ask Clara, but that would ruin the fun. I was still curious to find out ablout Clara’s American fasination so I asked her why the U.S.A? Here is what she had to say…

“My interest for the United States is genuine, and has been elaborated by the travels I’ve made there since I was a child as much as by the presence of the (idealized) American culture outside of its own frontiers, in a more European daily life. It is with this context in mind that I travel to the United States, and my position as a punctual visitor informs my way of taking photographs. As a visitor on the road, I see the landscape in terms of pure visual information, everything becomes potentially symbolic. I think that for anyone visiting the United States, even for the first time, it is already a second degree experience. Everything we see is seen through the images of the parallel American culture present in our non American lives. Nothing is perfectly new.  

Besides, it is a prosperous terrain for artifice. My interest resides in the excessively vibrant need of this nation to elaborate structures, be they ideological, architectural or moral, in what seems to be an ever growing desire for comfort, frames, rules in which to fit. It is a land of power and contradictions, a sort of condensed, more violent version of our lives. It is the country of all possibilities, and yet beneath the illusion of freedom itself, lies an incredible attachment to order and conformity. Although not American myself, it is a culture that I feel strongly connected to, that has merged into my own, and that I need to question”.

 

http://www.claraprioux.com/