Jean-Marie Clarke

Art translates matter into mind, mind into matter.
affiliation: independent

Being trained in art history and practiced in art, I describe myself as an "artistorian": My research has essentially been a metaphysical one, although off-road, which means mostly outside of academia and without direct reference to the canon of Western philosophy or its history. I have integrated and used elements of Far-Eastern thought and practice (taoism, zen, yoga, meditation). My object of research was limited to a painting by Rembrandt in the Louvre erroneously titled "Philosophe en méditation". In fact, it represents the blind Tobit and his wife Anna waiting for the return of their son. By necessity, my research extended to Rembrandt's name and signatures. We are talking about a period of nearly forty years, in the course of which my art practice led me to update the Rembrandt painting in a process work using an installation and performance work: "OZONE STATION PROJECT (1993-2000)". This project enabled me to develop a 4-D model of the human mind, its meta-media (word, image, number), and in particular consciousness, which I consider as the "Ur-Medium". Working in various media made it possible to sidestep some of the pitfalls of thinking solely in terms of verbal concepts and discursive logic.

My life and work are based on a spontaneous "satori" experience made at the age of seventeen. It gave me the certainty of consciousness as the focus of experience.


research expositions

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Exposition: Rudimentariness: a concept for artistic research (01/01/2016) by Anik Fournier
Jean-Marie Clarke 13/01/2017 at 15:22

I would have liked to get into this exposition, but could not because of its wordiness (formal, academic style of thinking), This wordiness does not serve the purpose of "rudimentariness," which is much too artificial a term to begin with. The adjective "rudimentary" is so rarely used that it can be considered an archaism. If it is used, then only to mean "rough," "unsophisticated," "basic": i.e. mostly with slightly negative connotations. To want to make a noun out of it, suggests a certain taste for jargon. Especially if the artists' word was "innocence," which is also inacceptable, but for other reasons. "Naiveté" might have been better, and in any case closer to the truth.  I have no suggestions to replace "rudimentariness," other than the "beginner's mind" of Zen practice, but that opens another can of worms. As a nudge in another direction, let me quote Marshall McLuhan: "It may very well be that in our conscious inner lives the interplay among our senses is what constitutes the sense of touch." Neurological research may or may not be confirming that insight.