Jasmine Clarke: Shadow of the Palm
Every now and then, Jasmine Clarke (b. 1995, USA) has a jamais vu, the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognises in some fashion, but that nonetheless seems novel and unfamiliar. This is known to be a common experience of the children of parents who arrive from another country – a place the children did not grow up in but strongly recognise via the heritage.
For Clarke, it also defines a moment of alienation:
“When I look in the mirror, I want to believe that what I am seeing is an extension of myself even though I know that it isn’t. I am seeing a reflection (an illusion) of me and my world. I can never quite trust a mirror.”
One night, when driving though the Jamaican mountains with Jasmine’s father, he described a dream: “I am in my hometown, Saint Mary’s at a certain winding road that’s shaped like an ’N’, trying to catch the bus. I miss it so I run up the mountain through the bush and slide down the other side to catch it.” When listening to her father, Jasmine Clarke felt a sense of familiarity, even though she never actually experienced it herself considering it being a secondary dream experience.
The story of her father started to overlap with the actual car ride they had. This is what would define the ‘jamais vu’, which is basically a ‘déjà vu’ of something that an individual never experienced but recognises as familiar. Clarke approaches photography is a similar way. Her colourful and mysterious photographs play with the tension between fiction and reality, unraveling the uncanny world we so often fail to notice. Under the cover of the night, reality merges with dreams.
The work of Jasmine Clarke was selected for the Top 50 of Critical Mass 2020. Critical Mass is an annual online program, initiated by Photolucida, to promote the work of emerging and mid-career photographers and to create connections within the photography community.