The Outcome of Turner Adams
31 January – 28 February 2013
Commune1 is proud to present the much anticipated first showing of Gordon Clark’s latest body of works, 'The Outcome of Turner Adams'. The exhibition is made up of 35 large-scale photographs that document a year in the life of Turner Adams who spent 24 years in prisons such as Pollsmoor Maximum security. The images are insightful, lyrical and ultimately humane, and present a powerful visual document of a layered persona. By inhabiting both the photographic genres of documentary and intentional theatrical constructs, Gordon aims to challenge stereotypes and assumptions often attached to this manner of subject.
Young Turner Adams had longed to become a priest; his passion began with six years singing in the Choir of the Holy Cross Church in District 6, a place he once called home. Then apartheid’s wolves rumbled into his street, his suburb was razed, the city’s innards gutted and a little boy’s heart torn out. His community was back-handed to the outskirts, an industrial gulag. It is a place where 72% of all males aged 16 to 26 rotate through the prison turnstile and 90% return. It is an environment where ‘going home’ is an unashamed colloquialism for ‘incarceration’.
“And the boy becomes a man, and the man carries two half-worlds within him; representing both, he is neither. He is stark; his story etched with blatant fury; emblazoned and unmask-able.
And he returns to where he departed, to where he left the boy that once was him; he visits the places where the scant memories still lie crucified, hoping against hope that they may resurrect; straining to hear the thinnest reed of that sweet song within him once more.”
-Michael Smorenburg 2012
Clark’s previous photographic series with Leon Botha gained worldwide acclaim and sell-out status.
Gordon Clark has had numerous solo shows including, ‘Gordon Clark- Selection’,ARTCO Gallery, Germany (2012), ‘Who Am I? – Transgressions – Gordon Clark and Leon Botha’ which was shown in Amsterdam, Germany and South Africa (2010-2011), ‘What is Familiar?’ Odes Gallery, Cape Town (2009), and ‘Transitions’, Museum of Tolerance,USA (2002). Most recently he exhibited ‘Turner Adams: The Outcome’ at Commune.1. Currently Clark lives and works as a photographer, and film and documentary maker in Cape Town.