A New Yorker who prefers ruins to structures, Bruce McClure is the king of cinema performance and the next visitor to Punto de Vista In Focus, to be held in Civican on 26 February. Acclaimed in film festivals in cities like Rotterdam or Toronto, McClure has been called a para-cinema artist, travelling with his 16mm projectors and experimenting with them all at the same time. Sometimes, he has two films in each projector, plus the sound-effect pedals that turn his film performances into unique, unpredictable events. The fact that moviegoers get earplugs before his shows is a hint of the eccentric experience they are about to have.
McClure is coming to Pamplona with recent films, to be screened here for the first time: Two Helpless Young Ones Strike Out and Rotorattler, shot in 2016 with a duration under 60 minutes. The only thing we know about them is that Two Helpless… is about two baby pelicans hitting an intruder in their sanctuary. We know nothing else, but the screening is bound to be a feast for our senses, full of intermittent flashes and magical lighting.
‘In my performances, losing control is always a possibility. The theatre, the projector, the projectionist, the screen, the audience and their nerve fibres, as well as all film assumptions, are there together, operating simultaneously. In my screenings, danger is a must. This living hand, here you are, I’m reaching out to you.’ This is how McClure describes his performances. We will be able to listen to him in Pamplona too, in a discussion panel following the screening of his films.
Bruce McClure graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1985 and worked for 23 years in small firms on residential projects. In 1994 he started building simple devices using light intervals to affect the perception of motion and space. Eventually the film projector was adopted as his primary tool. Incandescent light and optical sound were organized into ‘projector performances’. McClure has performed in schools and universities, film clubs, museums and festivals in the United States and abroad.
McClure’s performance in Pamplona will be preceded by Alex Mendizabal, an artist born in Donostia-San Sebastián living in Italy, who will deliver a ‘Film Prelude: News and Short Film’. According to his bio, Mendizabal is ‘someone interested in pause and dependence. He’s a Rome-antic.’