Bruce Clarke


Visual artist and photographer, Bruce Clarke was born in London in 1959. It was at the Fine Arts School at Leeds University in the 1980’s that he was initiated to the Art and Language movement around Michael Baldwin, David Bainbridge, Terry Atkinson, Harold Hurrell. In the wake of these pioneering conceptual artists, Clarke’s work engages with contemporary history, the writing and transmission of this history and hopes to stimulate thought on the contemporary world and its representations. Deeply anchored in a school of critical figuration, his artistic research integrates codes finally to use them to criticize and demystify structures of power and injustice.

Bruce Clarke is a committed artist. An important figure in the anti-apartheid movement in France with the Rencontre Nationale Contre l’Apartheid, he became deeply involved in the mobilisation of the French public opinion against the South African apartheid regime on his arrival in Paris. In parallel he followed the evolution of the situation in Rwanda and the planned and proclaimed genocide, participating in the creation of a collective for solidarity with the Rwandese people. It was whilst doing a photo reportage in Rwanda for this collective in the days following the end of the genocide that he came face to face with the horrific reality. A few years later he started to work on the creation of a memorial site near Kigali, the Garden of Memory, a monumental installation project on-going since 2000, in close collaboration with survivors’ families, civil society associations and the Rwandese institutions as well as UNESCO. He later working on a large scale mural project for the 20th commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda entitled Upright Men ( HYPERLINK “” in Rwanda and elsewhere in the world (Ouidah, Geneva, Lausanne, Brussels, Paris, Montreal etc…)

After two long trips to India in 2011 he began the project “People in the Crowd” in which he intends to evoke the power of the crowd as a force for change in the world.

As resident artist invited by the Conseil Général de Guadeloupe (French Caribbean), he produced an exhibition “Fragments of tomorrow’s History” relating the link between the slave trade, colonialism and globalisation. Collaborator in the Lille based Fest-Africa organisation’s project on Rwanda: Write, Film, Paint in memory, he has also worked with the Afrika Cultural Centre in Johannesburg and led visual arts workshops in South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Benin, Tanzania and France. In 2006 he published Dominations with Homnisphères publishing house.

As a photographer, he has published photo reports on South Africa, the reconstruction of Rwanda, the return of Liberian refugees and Palestine.

He is represented by ARTCO gallery in Germany. His work has been exhibited in Europe, in Africa and the United States.

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2017 Living Memory and Upright Men, Coutances Museum, France
2016 Sea Ghosts, French Institue, Nouakchott, Mauritania
2015 Daily Violence, Multimedia centre Lormont, France
2014 Humanities Gallery Out of Africa, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
2014 En toute impunité, Gallery Les Naufragés du Temps, St Malo, France
2014 Upright Men, Simultaneous exhibitions (Geneva, Lausanne, Paris, Brussels, Luxemburg, Kigali, Limoges, Liège…) for the 20th commemoration of genocide in Rwanda
2013 Precarious Lives Gallery Julio Gonzalez, Arceuil, France
2013 Janus Gallery, Montreux, Switzerland
2013 M.I.A. Gallery Seattle, United States
2013 Body and Souls, Grenoble, France, Maison de l’International
2012 Artium Gallery, Luxemburg
2012 Fondation Zinsou, Benin
2011 Who’s Afraid , Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris
2010 Neumünster Abby, Luxemburg
2010 Artium Gallery, Luxemburg
2010 Bekris Gallery, San Francisco, United States
2010 Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France
2009 Geneva Book Fair, Switzerland
2007 Other(s), l’Art et la Paix Gallery, France
2006 Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France
2006 Arcima Gallery, Paris, France
2006 Troubled identity, mixed identity, Plein Sud Festival, Cozes, France
2005 Arrêt sur Image Gallery, Bordeaux, France
2004 I’m writing to you from the Garden of memory – installation, Dak’Art off, St Louis, Senegal
2004 Les Naufragés du Temps Gallery, St Malo, France
2002 Union des Arts Plastiques, Guest artist, St-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France
2002 Fragments of tomorrow’s History, L’Artchipel, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe
2001 Centre Rémy Nainsouta, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean.
2000 I’m writing to you from the Garden of memory – Installation, Gallery Porte 2a, Bordeaux, France
2000 Château de St-Ouen, Saint-Ouen, France
1999 French Cultural Centre, Kigali, Rwanda
1999 Fragments of History, Grenoble International, Grenoble, France
1997 Rayon Vert Gallery, Nantes, France
1997 South African Embassy, Paris, France
1997 Museum of Romans, Romans, France
1996 Marina Gallery, Avignon, France

Group exhibitions (selection)

2016 AKAA Art Fair, Paris
2016 Tribute to Dak’Art, Martigny, Switzerland
2016 Sea Ghosts, Subabiennale, Dak’Art Off, Senegal,
2016 Targets, ArtCo Gallery, Aachen, Germany
2016 Cape Town Art Fair, Le Cap Johannesburg
2015 Africa/Africains, Museu Afrrobresil, Sao Paolo, Brazil
2015 Global Topics, ArtCo Gallery, Aachen, Germany
2014 FNB Art Fair, Johannesburg
2013 Etonnants Voyageurs Festival, Saint-Malo, France
2012 Iwalewa Haus – Bayreuth, Germany
2012 Boxe Boxe, Fondation Blachère – Apt, France
2010 Couleur Café Festival, Bruxelles, Belgium
2009 Africajarc Festival, Carjac, France
2008 Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France
2008 Contemporary Art Fair, Espace Pierre Bergé, Bruxelles, Belgium
2007 East African Biennale, Dar es Salam, Tanzania
2004-5 La, Bruxelles, Belgium
2004-5 Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France
2004 Ephémère Gallery, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Belgium
2003 L’Essor Gallery, Le Sentier, Switzerland
2002 Dak’art Biennale, Dakar Senegal
2001 Belfort Art and History Museum – with Edith Convert, Belfort, France
2001 The Artist and the Real, Maison de la Culture de la Nièvre, Nevers, France
1998 Kulturfabrik, Luxembourg
1995 Africanités, Saintonge Gallery, Paris, France
1995 art’CRA, Accra, Ghana
1994 De l’Afrique à l’Afrique, Gallery Yahia, Tunis, Tunisia

Public collections

Zinsou Foundation, Cotonou, Benin
Contemporary Art Museum, Ouidah, Benin
Blachère Foundation, France
Tilder Foundation, France
Artocarpe, Guadeloupe contemporary art museum, France
Cities of Paris, Bordeaux, Bègles, France
Museum for Palestine, UNESCO, Paris

Interviews in English (selection):

Thinking Africa :

Interviews in French (selection):

Cinemondes Festival :

L’Humanité newspaper on Mandela:

RFI (French international service):

Short film :

Words aren’t enough 

Selection of videos on Upright Men project (English and French):

Gallery of artists