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A somewhere that is nowhere in particular '

Elizabeth Ann Day dissects the practice of Claire Yspol wherein ephemera meets permanence through digital subversion. Celebrating alternative exhibition structures, the familiar becomes unfamiliar, and the physical intangible.

Artist: Claire Yspol

Editor: Elizabeth Ann Day


Claire Yspol is enthralled by the everyday; by its usualness, by its banality.


A mixed media artist, working across a multitude of forms (from the written word, to moving image and artists’ books) Yspol has used recent months to develop a series of works viewable from the confines of your own home. Now could not be a greater moment to venture into art’s place in the digital sphere. Whilst we remain unable to attend physical arts events on the same scale as known previously, online interventions seem like a natural solution. However, these can vary in strength, especially when being organised by those unfamiliar with the technology and its constraints. Saying this, we are all still learning and wrestling with this new medium and the intensity to which we work with it. Yspol is fascinated by alternative exhibition structures, having taken this opportunity, like many others, to further improve their online presence, coding and website production. These are refined spaces, where usually ephemeral language and interactivity meet permanence - the internet never forgets.

Claire walks. As David Hammons walks to observe “casual marvels” (Peter Schjeldahl, 2002), Yspol drifts around her home city of Dundee basking in its regularity. Much of her photography work thrives on these types of spaces. Depicting a scene left suddenly, Things Said in Jest looks as if someone has quickly rolled up a duvet before being called away to another task. It feels as though it could only be documented at that precise time, it will change again in a moment. Yet, its monochromatic state gives it a long lasting effect; frozen. Two stools are stacked, they look like the ones you’d see in a high school chemistry classroom. A folding hospital screen leans against the wall behind them. This appears too old to still be in use for its original purpose. Is this a makeshift hostel, or a community production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013)?

Yspol is passionate about the dissemination of her pieces, especially within alternative exhibition formats. Most recently, Creamy was featured in In My House 8, an ongoing digital exhibition programme wherein selected artists are featured within the home of Southampton based curator Abigail Miller. Examining the politics of space, this display appears a perfect spot for Yspol’s work. Miller reproduced Creamy (a simple text work discussing an imaginary encounter with a waiter) in black vinyl, pasting it on to her kitchen wall. At first glance, the whiteness of the wall, and the blackness of the vinyl, give the impression that this is an introductory text to the exhibition. Yet, it’s size and placement in the kitchen are ideal considering its content. The dimension is similar to a large, sophisticated menu, found only at the most alluring of restaurants. Whilst it’s spot on the wall closest to the door, references the waiter within the script; coming and going from the kitchen to the dining area.


Photo by Abigail Miller

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