Private View
28.03. 6 p.m. -9 p.m.
Bartha Contemporary, London
Stefana McClure
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Bartha Contemporary is delighted to announce Stefana McClure’s (b. 1959, UK / USA) upcoming
exhibition ‘Science is FICTION’ featuring a monumental ‘films on paper’ suite in twenty-three
parts, science fiction in the form of a series of manga drawings and some new large scale
colour-blind works articulating the world of pure science. Please join us for the private view on
Thursday March 28th from 6PM – 9PM. Exhibition on view until May 11th 2013.
Before Attenborough and Cousteau there was Painlevé. The artist’s second solo exhibition with
the gallery celebrates the wonderful underwater documentaries of this early twentieth century
French marine biologist and cinematic pioneer. In McClure’s suite of ‘Science is FICTION’
drawings the subtitles to twenty-three of his magical films are superimposed, concentrated and
concealed in two shimmering bands at the bottom of otherwise uninterrupted monochromatic
fields. Letters, in their original typeface and screen placement, are relentlessly accumulated
and stacked upon themselves, coalescing in a super-condensed version of each film’s dialogue.
These abstractions, characterised by the distillation of time and the obliteration and
reconstruction of information, are tangible manifestations of film.
Alongside this expansive work, a second suite of nine drawings further showcases the artist’s
predilection for seriality. Entitled ‘Hinotori’ this suite of drawings on wax transfer paper
mounted on dibond, is a distillation of the nine-volume manga epic by the inimitable Osamu
Tezuka who worked on the series for over 35 years and considered it to be his life’s work.
Arguably one of the finest works of Japanese comic art ever produced, this is science fiction at
its best. Twelve separate stories, linked by the presence of the mythical hinotori, or bird of fire,
jump across time, alternating between a distant future and a distant past, ultimately converging
on the present. These manga drawings relate strongly to the films on paper, concentrating the
dialogue of entire comic books into single drawings, each new layer of text covering, but not
quite obliterating the one that went before it.
While the films of Jean Painlevé exist on the border of sci-fi and nature documentary and
Hinotori is sheer science fiction, the new colour-blind drawings, based on early twentieth
century Japanese tests designed for the detection of colour vision deficiencies, double up as
effective diagnostic tools and embody the realm of pure science. Much of the colour information
has been carefully removed from these intense multi-layered works, which have been riddled
with thousands of holes.
Recent sculptural objects will complete the installation.
Stefana McClure lives and works in New York. She has previously lived and worked in Japan for
many years and is a native of Northern-Ireland. Her work has been exhibited widely and forms
part of numerous international private and public collections. For further information, or to
receive reproduction quality images, please do not hesitate to contact the gallery.