E2-E4 is a catalogue of separate works varying from photographic studies to recorded performance. Here they are seen as black and white silver-gelatin prints - paired down to a reduced form, all having gone through several stages of reduction. hanging around repetition , motion, and entropy these works form a close record of thoughts on the parameters of my own life distilled to the black and white squares. One move after another - and in continuous circles. 

The works are indexed on a chess board - as 32 pieces and 4 boards:

Pieces demand space for movement and conflict – standing alone, but as part of a wider game in which their finite but vast potentialities can almost be pre-determined but never played out. Their inevitable role is to conflict

Boards represent the vessel in which movement occurs, they are a container which sets the parameter of possibility. The board is the physics engine of the game, a physical distillation of sets of complex rules and possibilities. Their inevitable role is to invite and shape conflict

So you have a sender of action and a receiver of action, respectively demanding conflict and control.

[Shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award 2019]


"For some, photography is a game. It has its players, it has rules and possibilities, it requires imagination and prediction. In E2-E4, Jacob Clayton draws out the surprisingly numerous parallels between chess and photography, bringing together 36 individual photographs of games, performances, and abstract experiments with dark-room chemicals, and numbering them like pieces on a chessboard. Inspired by the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro and his theories of ‘nothingness’, Clayton sees photography as a game to be played and replayed infinitely, describing the book as, “stuck in a loop of potentialities, regressed to its beginning which was always its end”.”

- Jacob Charles Wilson