Edmund Clark wins ICP 2017 Infinity Award

12 January 2017

Edmund Clark wins ICP 2017 Infinity Award

Edmund Clark, Outside the home of a family rendered by the CIA with assistance from M16

The International Center of Photography (ICP), the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture, has announced the 2017 honorees of its annual Infinity Awards, widely considered the leading honor for excellence in the field. The 33rd annual ICP Infinity Awards will be held in New York City on the evening of Monday, April 24, 2017. 

Among the recipients are Edmund Clark and Crofton Black, who have been named the winners of the Documentary and Photojournalism award for their project Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition, a collection of photographs and documents that confront the nature of contemporary warfare and the invisible mechanisms of state control. From George W. Bush’s 2001 declaration of the “war on terror” until 2008, an unknown number of people disappeared into a network of secret prisons organized by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency—transfers without legal process known as extraordinary renditions. No public records were kept as detainees were shuttled all over the globe. Some were eventually sent to Guantánamo Bay or released without charge, while others remain unaccounted for. The paper trail assembled by Clark and Crofton shows these activities via the weak points of business accountability: invoices, documents of incorporation, and billing reconciliations produced by the small-town American businesses enlisted in detainee transportation. Clark has traveled worldwide to photograph former detention sites, detainees’ homes, and government locations. He and Black recreate the network that links CIA “black sites,” and evoke ideas of opacity, surface, and testimony in relation to this process—a system hidden in plain sight. Black is a researcher and writer who works extensively on corporate outsourcing by militaries and intelligence agencies, and is a leading expert on the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program. This project was supported by the Magnum Foundation and published by Aperture.

Clark is an award-winning photographer whose work links history, politics, and representation. He uses photography, found imagery and text to explore links between representation and politics. His work traces ideas of shared humanity, otherness and unseen experience through landscape, architecture and the documents, possessions and environments of subjects of political tension. Clark’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, at venues including Aperture Foundation, Berlinische Galerie, Brighton Photo Biennial, Dublin Gallery of Photography, Flowers Gallery, Huis Marseille Museum, Houston Center for Photography, Imperial War Museum North, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Impressions Gallery, Parrotta Contemporary Art, Platform for Art, Saatchi Gallery, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, Stadtmuseum, Munich and Zephyr Mannheim, Germany. His work is featured in many important national and international collections including those of the National Portrait Gallery and Imperial War Museum in London, The National Media Museum, Bradford, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland, The George Eastman House, Rochester and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

A major exhibition of work by Edmund Clark titled War of Terror is currently on display in the Imperial War Museum, London. The show brings together several series of work, exploring the hidden experiences of state control during the 'Global War on Terror'. An immersive experience, the exhibition uses sound, moving images and large multi-media installations as well as photographs and documents to invoke a sensory engagement with the experiences of observation, detention and disorientation induced by the systems of control Clark explores. 

Since 1985, the ICP Infinity Awards have recognised major contributions and emerging talent in the fields of photojournalism, art, fashion photography, and publishing. The 2017 honorees were chosen by a selection committee composed of Erin Barnett, Director of Exhibitions and Collections, ICP; Beryl Graham, Professor of New Media Art, University of Sunderland in the UK; and Joel Smith, Curator of Photography, The Morgan Library.