After my musing (Saturday) on the utterly dire non-art of Susan Philipsz (sic) it was no surprise to hear that she has been awarded the Turner Prize for 2010. On the same day that I visited the Turner finalists at the Tate, I also went round the exhibition of British Art at the Saatchi gallery, which was greatly superior to the Tate exhibits in creativity, imagination and craftsmanship. One of the artists who caught my eye was Clarisse d’Arcimoles who presented a series of works based on snaps from her family album and a picture of the same person taken in 2009 in a scene which has been exactly reproduced. The series is called ‘Un-possible retour’, which means ‘a possible impossible return’.
The initial inspiration for wanting to do this project came from a photo of the artist and her brother as children having a bath together in a small pink bucket. When she tried to re-stage the photo she realised it would be interpreted with pornographic connotations, which was out of the question, so she used instead a photo of her mother and her sister in a bathtub. Her sister was three when the original photo was taken and it took a lot of persuading her grown up sister- and her mother- to pose for the retake. But she manages to capture in the adult sister the crazy smile of the young child and the result is charming, funny and thought provoking.