Declan Clarke Mine Are of Trouble 2

Declan Clarke
Mine Are of Trouble 2006
Courtesy the artist

Declan Clarke Mine Are of Trouble 1

Declan Clarke
Mine Are of Trouble 2006
Courtesy the artist

Declan Clarke, Mine Are of Trouble 2006

Declan Clarke’s video Mine Are of Trouble 2006 deftly juxtaposes an account of socialist Rosa Luxemburg’s life against his own personal and haphazard introduction to the revolutionary figure whilst he was living in Berlin. The political activist’s remarkable actions, which culminated in her assassination in 1919, are set in poignant contrast to Clarke’s failed attempts to transfer her political legacy to his own romantic life.

The film takes the form of a documentary but is striking for its personal involvement in its subject as well as for its idiosyncratic approach. It is made up of two very uneven halves. The first tells the story of Rosa Luxemburg through grainy old photographs and hand-held camera footage of Berlin as it is now and this part also incorporates an impassioned voice-over delivered by Clarke in his lilting Irish accent. The second part of the film unfolds mostly in silence, narrated as inter-titles between still photographs. The subject shifts to Clarke himself, his interest in Luxemburg and his attempts to persuade a succession of girlfriends to name their non-existent daughters Rosa. By linking the incidents of the socialist revolutionary’s life to his own meandering biography, Clarke shows the historical figure as a human being. His skill is to weave the personal into the political and vice versa, and to show that the two are inextricably related

Declan Clarke

Born 1974
Lives and works in London

Recent solo exhibitions include

Mine Are of Trouble, Four Gallery, Dublin, 2006

Group exhibitions include

Goshka Macuga and Declan Clarke, Project, Dublin
Encounters with the Subordinary, Hornsey Pumphouse, London, 2005
Communism, Project, Dublin, 2005
International Residency Programme, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2003