Emilie Clark
Sweet Corruptions

New York-based artist Emilie Clark creates art installations informed by the history of science and natural history. The latest in series of works focused on the work and lives of Victorian women scientists and naturalists, Sweet Corruptions departs from the work of Ellen H. Richards—a sanitary chemist who studied air, water, and food.

Richards was the first female student and then professor at MIT, and had a profound interest in the relationship between people and their environment. She also brought the word “ecology” into the English language. Clark uses Richards’s work as a structure and guide, treating her own studio like a laboratory.

The work in this project includes the collection and preservation of the artist’s family’s food waste for one year; an interactive Research Station sculpture that includes an audio piece, specimens, a dissecting microscope (for the public’s use) and terraria; a book; and, drawings and paintings.

Sponsored by Maureen Mullarkey and Steve Miller.

Emilie Clark, Sweet Corruptions, 2011-13. Mixed media installation, size variable. Courtesy Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York. © 2013 Emilie Clark.