For Head On 2019, Ivan Clemente has put together project H, a complex project that involves physics, poetry and equations. We asked a few questions about his creative process.
What objects do you feature in your art?
I take close-ups of anything that surround me. When in nuclear physics you devise experiments for particles, they react according to the nature of the experiment, translating that into photography, if you search for planets, you find planets, Mars landscape or the deep sky. For years I have been searching for planets at an arm´s distance, finding many.
What did you try and focus on with your work for project H?
Being a nuclear engineer myself and having loved poetry all my life, I found that there is much more in common between nuclear physics and poetry than many people may think. I elaborate a bit on that on the essay that forms part of the photobook H. it is surprising how Ernesto Cardenal shows in his book Cantos a deep knowledge of physics in order to build his poems, or how Jorge Luis Borges describes situations that now many years later we know to happen at a micro-particle level. At the same time, Nobel Prizes in physics have shown a charming taste for a poetical description of the world, something that has lead some to become very spiritual. With H I want to show this common ground, using as images, objects selected from our daily lives.
What was the process of putting project H together?
After completing the research, the process was quite intuitive, things simply find their way together. I had the opportunity of receiving interesting feedback on the process by other known artists and curators, which always helps.
Who inspires your work?
Obviously, poets, I have already mentioned some, or physicists like Dirac, Planck or Pauli. In a purely visual way, Jan Dibbets, Yves Klein or classic masters like Irving Penn.