Monet Clark is a performance/video artist based in the SF Bay Area. Her works are raw, yet refined, wickedly humorous, political, feminist and semi-autobiographical. Her characters are drawn from subculture, history, the media and the fashion world, and explore sexual stereotypes, dichotomy and transmutation. She also works in the mediums of photography, live performance, video, installation, drawings, music and more.
Monet began photographing in grade school making portraits of her peers and pop culture still lifes. Her formal study of photography and silver gelatin printing began in high school. She won a scholarship in photography to the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990 for her series of nude portraits of her pregnant punk friends. Already a junior at San Francisco State University, majoring in Liberal Arts with a focus on Women’s Studies and minoring in Holistic Theory, she transferred to SFAI in 1991. That same year, her photographs were published twice in the groundbreaking magazine On Our Backs. Monet began the graduate program at SFAI’s Performance/ Video department in 1992 and officially received her BFA in photography in 1993. Through 1995 her video works were exhibited internationally.
Monet’s exhibitions and graduate studies came to a halt when she became life threateningly ill from a toxic exposure which had lead to an neuro-immune illness. She continued to make art through the experience, framing her personal events as performances. After over a decade of rigorous training in the healing arts she accomplished her recovery enough to resume exhibiting.
This has included screenings for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s, Now Playing Series in 2010; for San Francisco Cinematheque in 2011 for Berkeley Art Museum’s book Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000; for Chicago’s International Performance Art Festival, Rapid Pulse in 2012; and a solo show at Krowswork Gallery in Oakland in 2011, titled California Girl, A Retrospective Debut; and more. She co-wrote and performed vocals for 4 tracks on legendary Psychedelic-Punk band Chrome’s 2014’s release Feel It Like A Scientist, to prodigious critical acclaim, as well as designed the album cover. In 2016 she completed a 3 woman residency and exhibition at Krowswork Gallery in Oakland, where she finished and debuted her performance/video movie Bunny Girl, which has had many engagements including the RETHinkART DIGITAL FESTIVAL, in Rethymno, Greece; AViFF Art Film Festival Cannes, France; and Bideodromo, in Bilbao, Spain.
Clark’s works in progress include: NOW, A Video Art Ritual, a collaboration with media art pioneer John Sanborn, debuting February 8th through April, 7th, 2018 at SF Camerawork. “NOW” is guided by two hilarious opposing (s)heros: the sarcastic rage filled, haute goth Catharsis and the vamp, valkyrie yogini Perspicacious. Within 10 screens, including a projection on water, they explore the nexus between technology and ritual by inviting the audience’s participation. These contrasting protagonists cast a mystical space in an urban gallery, and wittily survey contemporary and historical pitfalls, while bringing the audience into the present now moment. “NOW” examines cultural appropriation and evolution; global warming; punk rock ideology; and spiritual philosophy. It reveals an emerging scientifically based, melting pot mysticism, and promotes the individual-micro/global-macro connection where “you matter now”. Another performance/ video installation work Völva Saga, explores the nexus between divination and technology. It reveals internalized misogyny through 3 archetypical female characters marginalized and shunned by contemporary western society and within feminist discourse. These will be installed as larger than life video projections. Clark is also working on a single channel piece, which comically draws upon historical female warrior traditions and pop culture, to explore animal rights and environmental activism.