Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Stefana McClure’s fifth solo exhibition in New York. The Beat That My Heart Skipped (a line from a Jacques Dutronc song) takes its title from Jacques Audiard’s compelling 2005 film about a small-time hood who dreams of becoming a concert pianist, itself a riff on James Toback’s 1978 film Fingers.
Distillation of time, obliteration and reconstruction of information, characterize Stefana McClure’s drawings and sculptures. The works in the exhibition negotiate film and music, text and image: translating, transposing and decoding the synesthetic structure connecting them. The exhibition includes percussion drawings, colorblind drawings and musical movies on paper, along with a sculpture integrating iPod earphones.
The percussion drawings are performed on drums with modified drumsticks or special gloves. Sound is an integral part of these works, an attached iPod shuffle enables viewers to listen to the sound of the drawing being made. Renditions range from Take Five, a drawing in five parts, each one an individual drummer’s take on the Jazz classic, to Irish Reel, a drawing played on the ancient frame drum known as the bodhran – the very heartbeat of Irish music. There is also Middle Eastern drumming, both Turkish and Persian. Each musical genre translates into a distinct image.
The films on paper are monochromatic compositions with blurred lines composed by the superimposition of the subtitles of musical classics such as The Sound of Music, South Pacific, The Wizard of Oz, Some Like it Hot and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The colorblind drawings are based on Japanese tests made for the detection of color blindness. Much of the color information has been carefully punched out of these layered drawings, some of which can be viewed from both sides.
Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, Stefana McClure lives and works in New York. Her work was recently featured in BLOWN AWAY at the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Uncoordinated: Mapping Cartography in Contemporary Art at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati. Currently, she is included in the exhibition Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite that debuted at the Harnett Museum of Art in Richmond and is traveling to seven university museums. Her work is included in various public collections including: Fogg Art Museum; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.
The artist would like to thank all of the musicians who collaborated on the project, especially Adam Pache, Luke Notary, Niall O’ Leary, Jason Lawrence, Amir Vahab and Christian Finger