Posted by: Levi Hanes
Props to PICA and the Cinema Project for this nugget. I hadn’t had much sleep the night before and this turned out to be a good thing: my tolerance for b.s. is striped and I find myself emotionally raw when tired and gangked out on coffee. McClure’s show was a brittle, searing experience. His bile colored overlayed screen projections fluttered images accompanied by a brutal, loud, grinding, deliciously painful soundtrack that simulated flying a small single prop plane into the sun.
More like being a co-pilot in a two-seater plane into the sun. I was able to sit back and trust the pilot to do the work while I watched the scenery. The overwhelming din of the engine throbs through your body and your vision resorts to those weird nebulous colorful blobs you see when you rub your eyes. After a while the sound fades (not literally but mentally) and I was feeling it, the experience fully enveloping me
The fourth and final presentation used the four projectors to create an image of a cross. McClure shifted colored gels displaying an image that riffed a mixture of Gerhard Richter’s cool play on visual themes (the cross), Richard Prince’s rough tape edged punk-ness and Marc Rothko’s color schemes. Forgive the painter references, The music was considerably softer on this installment, adding to the general break from the previous works.
I had just been to the John Singer Sargent show at the PAM and was having a bit of a crisis over the state of painting. Here was a painter (Sargent) that I felt was embellishing photographs. What is one to do as a painter when photos are so damn colorful and clear now? The tonic was McClure’s show. The presentation in an antiquating medium of film projectors that created a unique experience with the limited fields of sound and two dimensional space moving in time. This during a time of digital cinematography and computer editing. Lovely.