Claire A. Warden (b. Montreal, Quebec) is an artist working in Phoenix, Arizona. She received her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from Arizona State University. Claire’s work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad including solo exhibitions of Mimesis at the Center for Fine Art Photography, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and Art Intersection. She has participated in group exhibitions at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Rayko Photo Center, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, Division Gallery in Toronto, Agripas 12 Gallery in Jerusalem, Galería Valid Foto in Barcelona and Students’ City Cultural Center Gallery in Belgrade. She received an artist residency through the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists in Léhon, France, an Individual Artist Grant Award supported by the Creative Capacity Fund and the Contemporary Forum Artist Grant supported in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation Endowment. She has been named LensCulture's Top 50 Emerging Talents, Photo Boite’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, a Critical Mass finalist and a Photobook Melbourne Photo Award finalist. Her work has been featured in Real Simple magazine, The HAND Magazine, Common Ground Journal, Prism Magazine, Diffusion Magazine and a forthcoming publication by PYLOT Magazine. Claire completed a yearlong residency at Art Intersection in Arizona in 2015 and was a 2016 Artist-In-Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock.
Claire was also the co-juror of this month's exhibition.
Mimesis is grounded in issues of identity, the other and the psychology of knowledge and power. The creation of this series comes at a time when the struggle to accept the unfamiliar is pervasive in our culture. When looking at these images, the urge to ask “what is it?” echoes the question, “what are you?” a question that has been directed towards me countless times and one that I find increasingly difficult to answer. Raised in a family with a diverse ethnic heritage has led me to reflect on the fluid, abstract nature of identity, which informs my use of photography.
I use saliva and mark-making as part of my photographic process, which steers the work away from the signifying functions inherent to the medium of photography. I use these interventions as symbolic acts to expose the inherent biologic and socio-cultural forces that stimulate the emergence and performance of an identity. This process produces a series of images that reveal certain truths in identity and simultaneously the inadequacies of language to describe oneself. Resembling systems of the natural sciences—microscopic, topographic and celestial—the photographs allegorize the complexity of systems that make up an individual and the perception of self.