Born in the UK, Bruce Clarke’s parents are white South African political exiles that left the country in 1958. His youth was filled with visits from anti-apartheid militants and human rights activists; it goes without saying, he joined the cause. Clarke sees his work as stimulating reflection on the world and the representations therein. Recognising that art provides a privileged domain of expression in a complex world, he situates himself outside of an overtly egocentric or revealing form of contemporary art-making, suggesting that one should not be a bystander in the face of history, but that individual activity can play a significant role in the making of that history.
His practice positions contemporary history against the writing and transmission of accounted history. As an activist in the anti-apartheid struggle, Clarke strives to integrate political commitment into his visual art research, placing his work in a current of critical thought.