DemocraCity | Mark Clare




DemocraCity is a solo show by Mark Clare presented by 126 Artist-Run Gallery.

The exhibition title comes from the animation produced using the 3D modeling program Google Sketchup and takes the contradictory ideologies of B.F. Skinner and Theodore John Kaczynski as its starting point and an edited version of Arvo Part’s Fratres for violin and piano as its soundtrack. It is a combination of Architectural models, some appropriated from 3D Warehouse and original models created specifically for the animation. In the animation we travel through a timeline of iconic Modernist buildings, symbolic of a utopian dream and on through a cityscape and the industrial structures necessary to deliver the fuel that power our cities. Finally we move into a landscape based on artist renditions for the Onkalo waste depository site being developed at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Finland. This facility will extend five kilometers down in to the bedrock and hold a number of chambers large enough to store large quantities of spent Nuclear fuel. Onkalo is being developed to last for up to 100,000 years. While many scientists estimate that we will have an ice age within the next 60,000 years there is some speculation that those who survive this ice age will not speak or read any of today’s modern languages and therefore there is a special emphasis on the semantic importance of marking the depository as dangerous for future generations.

This is accompanied by a slide presentation of a series of temporary public sculptures the artist has produced in recent years.


Over the last number of years Clare has consistently explored issues of social value in his work, which has developed into a sophisticated observation of the space and time we live in. The practice does not lie within any one discipline but instead utilises a variety of mediums and techniques to produce work. This has included animation, video and photography to document a myriad of performances and public interventions, the role of facilitator in developing collaborative projects with a wide variety of participants, many of who would have no formal Artistic background, and more recently the production of large site-specific sculptures.

The process of engaging with and responding to new environments is a vital part of the development of new work within his practice. While there is an over-riding ethos and aesthetic behind Clare’s practice, it is the challenge of seeking out and engaging with new people and new environments that infuse energy into his practice and allows for distinctive projects/works to be developed.