For his first solo exhibition at Bicha Gallery, Clinton De Menezes presents Passage 2012. The body of work presented, through ‘painting’, photography and mixed media constructions, consists of three ongoing projects that explore the themes of degeneration, transition and regeneration. As a starting point to the exhibition the word passage, according to the Oxford Dictionary, can be described as the action or process of moving through or past somewhere on the way from one place to another or the process of transition from one state to another. Referencing current global events; the economic crisis, uprisings, protests, migration, displacement and natural disasters the body of work renders a world that has or is on the verge of collapse. This collapse / degeneration is explored notably through the Passage Series in which isolated figures and objects are embedded in dense surfaces that seem to have endured turbulent histories. Explored through an emotive use of materials the works for this ongoing series are born out of physically demanding work processes that are integral to their reading. Burnt, flooded, buried, scratched, punctured, drawn over, covered up and painted into, these working processes are key to De Menezes’ practice which he has come to view as “processes of sedimentation and excavation that reference cycles of the natural world and the compounded history of culture”. The process of transition can be seen in The White Field Series, a continuum of De Menezes’ signature installation held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York since 2010. The densely painted white surfaces carry swarms of figures that seem to be migrating across the image plane. Some painted meticulously in colour, others covered in organic detritus, each figure carries its own history as they collectively move toward the unknown. The combined processes of degeneration, transition and regeneration continue in De Menezes’ latest work entitled the Erasure Series. The work consists of landscape photographs that De Menezes’ has documented over the last 20 years. Through the process of gradual erasing with steel wool and turpentine the image of the original landscape is erased or partially erased, creating new landscapes that are reminiscent of the Northern Romantic and Sublime landscape painting traditions. At a glance some of these landscapes look like they are exploding or imploding while others are reminiscent of nebula in deep space or unexplained phenomena in the landscape. Influenced by the epic paintings of John Martin and the artists of the Northern European Romantic tradition to contemporary technologies like Google earth and chroma key compositing, the spaces De Menezes’ represents speak at once about conflict and apocalypse as they do about resolution and the sublime.