Interview with Ian Clark
This interview was done as an update during our Kickstarter campaign for our residency program Public Process. Ian Clark donated a pencil and collage work on paper at the $300 level. There is one available.
Briefly tell us where you studied art and how long you’ve lived in the Eugene area?
I’ve lived in Eugene for about two and a half years now—currently finishing the last year of my MFA at U.Oregon. I did undergrad at The University of Montana; studied art—got a BFA in photography.
You are primarily a film maker and photographer. Some of your film work is narrative, and some, like your recent “MMXIII”, actually blurs the line between film and photography, and seems to focus on barely perceptible passages of time. How do you approach the passage of time and showing ‘moments’ between these two mediums? Or, is the difference between film and photography important to you?
I do think about these differences, but perhaps more I’m considering their overlap. To be sure, content is delivered differently and there are many things that set the two mediums apart, but they’re also quite similar. Cinema is an extension of photography—it’s 24 photographs per second. With MMXIII, much of the (video) imagery thus far is a static composition that allows for movement to happen within the frame. Honestly though it feels a bit early to talk much about it. I’m still making the work. Understanding happens over time and through all phases of making—shooting, editing, writing, reflection.
Some of your photography deals with abstract images, but you also draw and work in abstraction. Is the process of film making and drawing similar or different for you? How do they inform each other?
My projects are the result of preconceived ideas or an understanding of what something might become, how it might look or feel. At the same time, form and content almost always transform in meaningful, unexpected ways. Cinema and painting are similar in this regard. I don’t know that I’ve ever created something exactly as I imagined it.