When you look at a photograph you have the fact, the “reality” of the image before you. In an instant though, this image begins to release a flood of references. A building, which is objectively the remains or evidence of individual and collective history, transforms itself into something more, the trace of a lived experience which allows the viewer to unfold meaning. With my buildings, I find myself drawn to the remains of the ordinary, commonplace structures neither noteworthy nor original, distinguished by neither architectural nor historic merit. Buildings that serve simply as home or shelter and if valued at all, then in the realm of memory, traces of past experience. With these buildings, I try to convey a monumentality of form, strong and stoic, buildings, which transmit a certain grace, a fragile spirituality, wedding form and content, evidence and experience.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Margery Clay shares her time between Paris, Virginia and Cracow; three places where she developed very strong ties and which serve as the scene of operations for her photographic wanderings. Black and white only, her urban images depict fleeting and fragile moment of lives, marked by poetry and fraternal empathy. One of her most impressive works is her series of residential buildings’ shots, buildings located in popular neighbourhoods and photographed at nightfall, clear of any human presence. Under Margery Clay’s gaze, these buildings reach a fragile monumentality, evidenced by the scars and traces of the degradations engraved on their walls. This vulnerability is the metaphor for our human condition and our inevitable disappearance.