'Belfast' by Krass Clement to be published by RRB PhotoBooks

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'Belfast' by Krass Clement to be published by RRB PhotoBooks
Belfast by Krass Clement is published by RRB Photobooks.

LONDON.- In 1991, when Danish photographer Krass Clement spent time in Ireland and Northern Ireland, he famously shot his landmark book Drum in just one evening one three and a half rolls of film. Over 30 years later Clement has revisited his archive and the photographs made in the same period. His new book Belfast, features 114 previously unpublished images taken as he moved through the city as an outsider observing its people, landscape and rhythm.

Clement photographs quickly, moving unobtrusively through a place. Often photographing at angles, with furtive glances down urban streets, the monochromatic images give the impression of Clement walking through the city at pace whilst the figures he captures in the streets are also in a perpetual state of transit. His photographs taken in Belfast chart the angular landscape of the city—the grey sky and incessant rain create a pervading mood of melancholy —whilst life passes in the streets.

Much of Clement’s previous work appears unrooted from time with no markers to place the photographs in a specific period. However, in 1991, Belfast had seen years of conflict and the ceasefire of 1994 was some time away. The decline of the ship building industry and economic policy of the late 20th Century had left many areas of the city in need of regeneration. In these photographs British soldiers wait in front yards or around corners whilst children play in the streets, firmly rooting the images in a specific period of the city’s history.

Clement originally travelled to Ireland at the invitation of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. He spent several weeks applying his philosophy of process to each of the places he visited, most notably Dublin, two hours South of Drum village, (this work was published by RRB Photobooks in 2017), and Belfast, this time two hours away in Northern Ireland, and published now for the first time. His preferred medium is the photobook, using sequencing to build an imaginary and intangible narrative frame by frame. Offering neither caption nor comment, he invites the viewer to walk through the city in his place.

Krass Clement was born Copenhagen in 1946 and is a self-taught photographer. He graduated as a film director from the Danish Film School in 1973, and when it became evident that his future was not to be in film he returned to the photography he had practiced since his youth. He published his first photobook, Skygger af øjeblikke (Shadows of the Moment) in 1978 and since then has published more than 20 further titles. Clement’s work has been the subject of over 20 solo exhibitions across Europe, is held by museum collections including Bibliotek Nationale, Paris, Museum of Modern Art, New York amongst others.

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