Image: Edmund Clark

Edmund Clark Acquisition by the Victoria & Albert Museum

19 February 2024

Flowers Gallery is delighted to announce the V&A's acquisition of works from two of Edmund Clark's groundbreaking projects.

Control Order House examines the lives of individuals subjected to control orders as part of the UK government's response to terrorism. This work delves into the impact of security measures, introduced under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005,  including the power to relocate 'controlled persons' to a house anywhere in the country, to impose a curfew, and to restrict communication electronically and in person. 'Controlled persons' were never prosecuted for terrorist-related activity, and the evidence against them remained secret.

Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition, created in collaboration with investigator Crofton Black, confronts the nature of 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 organised by the US Central Intelligence Agency - transfers without legal process, otherwise known as extraordinary rendition. 

Control Order House will be on display in the V&A Photography Centre from June 2024.

Clark's work explores unseen processes and experiences of twenty-first century conflict. It raises questions about the balance between national security and individual liberties, and Flowers is delighted that its importance continues to be recognised by national collections. His film Orange Screen, originally made with writer and curator Max Houghton, is currently on show in the recently opened Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries, showing work from the permanent collection at the Imperial War Museum, London. 

The gallery is looking forward to his extraordinary new series, Cosmopolemos, also made with Crofton Black. This is an exploration of knowledge and meaning in relation to the overwhelming edifice of power that is the budget and image of the U.S. Department of Defense. It uses an analysis of scale to define the granular detail of the military industrial complex. From billions for global destruction to quarters for cookies, this new work shows the global breadth and depth of influence of the American military dollar, and the U.S. military's self-representation and soft power as it reflects on its activities at home and around the world in the 21st century.

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