Lenka Clayton is a conceptual artist whose work exaggerates and reorganizes the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd.
Her process begins with a fleeting curiosity or question, which is carried out by methodical and often laborious means to its logical conclusion. The visible labor applied toward these ephemeral or impossible goals asks for a suspension of disbelief from both audience and artist. A sharing of an uncertain, optimistic mythology, not only as to the likelihood of achieving the task, but also to the very value of the undertaking. Her works shoe-horn the unorganized, overlooked and unquantifiable into ill-fitting but still functioning structures that deconstruct the usual way of things.
In recent projects she searched for and photographed the 613 people mentioned in a German newspaper; collected, hand-numbered and redistributed 7,000 stones; filmed one person of each age from 1-100; and re-edited the 4,100 words of President Bush's televised "Axis of Evil" speech into alphabetical order. In Berlin she learnt German and embarked on a journey to discover the hidden physical and personal remains of the GDR. She and Michael Crowe are currently writing a hand-written letter to every household in the world.
Lenka's work has been shown internationally at numerous sites including Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland - Anthology Film Archives, New York - Galerie fur Landschaftskunst, Hamburg - Mannheim's main town square - CNEAI Paris - a Danish mediaeval tower - Tehran International Documentary Festival, Iran - Hot Docs, Canada - Channel 4 Television, U.K., and in mailboxes around the world. She has an MA in Documentary Direction from the National Film & Television School in England and a BA in Fine Art from Central St. Martins, London.
Photo: Hannes Ravic