Michelle Claase is a South African multimedia artist and filmmaker. She graduated as valedictorian from Savannah College of Art and Design, Hong Kong in November 2017 with a BFA in Painting and a minor in Film & Television. She is currently enrolled at UCSC International (Cattolica) in the MA program for Screenwriting and Film Production in Milan, Italy.
Claase’s diasporic lifestyle and background as a fashion model has influenced her artistic practice. Her art is manifested in video, sound, text and mixed media painting and focuses on themes of control and power dynamics by raising questions about authorship, authority and authenticity. Through her work she examines the use, overuse, and misuse of image and language in popular culture. By recontextualizing media-based content that is often overlooked (or blindly accepted), she aims to subvert the viewer’s passive response towards systems of power within the world of art, fashion and the film industry.
In terms of filmmaking Michelle is primarily a writer and editor, and has also worked on a number of short film productions as art director, assistant director and producer. She is the writer, art director, AD and editor of Captivity (2018), as well as the script editor, AD and editor of Endless Story (2018), both short films produced by Bao Bao Films. She also wrote, edited and produced (in association with Bao Bao Films) Pretty Pass (currently in post production) and is the writer of Pluck Up a short animation (currently in production).
In 2017, Claase was awarded an illycaffè S.p.A artist grant to attend an artist residency at the UNIDEE - University of Ideas at Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy. Her artwork has featured in various group exhibitions, including: Alteration (2018) at Millepiani Gallery in Rome, Italy; Mediocre (2018) at NockArt Gallery, curated by This Is NOT a Gallery in Hong Kong; Trans.Figuration (2017) at Ko Shing Gallery; Disclosed (2016) at Campfire Creative; Seven (2016) at XXX Gallery; Re-Format (2016) and Raw (2015) at DreamLikeBubbles.