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January 29, 2015 to April 5, 2015

Kate Clements: Charade

In her work, Kate Clements explores the ambiguity of fashion—its capacity for imitation and distinction, its juxtaposition of the artificial and the natural. She sees the life cycle of fashion as a process of creative destruction by which the “new” replaces the “old,” yet nothing is truly new. By the time a new style has been produced for mass consumption, it has been cast aside or even rejected by elite society as a bi-product of class division.


Her work focuses on what ‘things’ we choose to value and how and where we display them. The conventions of display and representation in the museum, the home, and the department store are not all that different. They create a sense of worth in the object through indicators such as velvet and boundaries to manipulate our desires. Clements’ work expresses humor through the oddity of the work while simultaneously acknowledging sadness in recognizing the futility of many material objects.


Clements’ choice of materials acknowledges and embraces ideas of imitation. Glass represents a counterfeit to jewels; wood vinyl covering cheap plywood creates the illusion of solid oak. Cut outs suggest the absence of an object that is no longer there, present only through its trace. These imitations and absences act as a veil of protection that is ultimately removed when the viewer discovers what attracts them to the work are deficiencies.

Tags: glass, installation, mixed media