Past SITUATION

SITUATION #83: Sara-Lena Maierhofer, Dear Clark, Study of a Con Man, 2011/2016

12.–18.06.2017

LISTE Art Fair Basel

Dear Clark, Study of a Con Man, artist publication, 2011/2016 © Sara-Lena Maierhofer
Dear Clark, Study of a Con Man, artist publication, 2011/2016 © Sara-Lena Maierhofer
Sara-Lena Maierhofer, Dear Clark, Study of a Con Man, 2011/2016, SITUATION #83, SITUATIONS/Fact, Artist talk at LISTE Art Fair Basel, 2017 © Philipp Ottendörfer
Sara-Lena Maierhofer, Dear Clark, Study of a Con Man, 2011/2016, SITUATION #83, SITUATIONS/Fact, Artist talk at LISTE Art Fair Basel, 2017 © Philipp Ottendörfer
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Sara-Lena Maierhofer’s artist book Dear Clark, centres on the life of the Bavarian-born con man Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who lived under various identities for over 20 years in the USA. In 2008, while using the name Clark Rockefeller, he was arrested by the FBI and charged with fraud, kidnapping and murder. Throughout the book’s seven chapters, Sara-Lena Maierhofer uses photographs, found images, collected documents, newspaper cuttings and sketches to explore the mysterious life of this impostor, studying his intentions, guises and patterns of behaviour. Rather than presenting them as pieces of evidence in a forensic investigation, Maierhofer intertwines the assembled facts into a fictional world of duplications, superimpositions and optical illusions. The elliptical narrative doesn’t just deconstruct the fraudulent identity of the con man, but also that of photography, a medium never able to fulfil its objective promise of truth as a factual document. In this way, Dear Clark, becomes an exemplary study of deception and the delusive image – whose duplicitousness not only misleads society but also holds a mirror up to it.


More by Sara-Lena Maierhofer: saralena.com

Kindly supported by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne.

Cluster: Fact