In 2009, Clarke undertook a residency at LOKAAL 01, Antwerp entitled 'Cannon Happy' where he researched the role of humour in contemporary protest marches. His findings led him to focus on the function of latex character masks that are frequently worn by protesters worldwide. During the residency he created 35, six-sheet posters that contained images of squashed and scanned masks collected during his stay. These ideas were then developed further in Heads of State, a solo show that extended his research into the context of painting and sculpture by making singular works using experimental reprographic and casting techniques. Every acquired mask was turned inside out, casted with plaster on to a scaffold pole and painted with industrial paint. When discussed in a lecture at London Metropolitan University Clarke insisted this was not sculpture, but instead a reprographic process that was located within an alternative printmaking practice referencing political propaganda. Clarke proposed to continue to develop this work for the Whitechapel Gallery's 'London Open 2012'. The resulting new installation of 'Heads of State' consisted of 30 busts installed in the main gallery. Clarke was invited by the Whitechapel to lead two educational workshops in relation to work in the exhibition, in the first, a ton of play pit sand was brought into the gallery and the artist encouraged children to cast found objects in sand. For the second, Clarke instructed teenagers on how to research political figures and facilitated the creation of a political puppet show. He used his installation to help participants discover legacies of leading political figures.
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