Brigid Mc Leer’s practice is concerned with ‘staging’ or ‘imaging’ complex and contingent models of the ‘subject’. She does this through developing durational performative responses to pre-existing texts, sites or images. The two works shown here at AC Institute are One + One (The Reading) (2010/12) and Vexations (2007/8). Both use visual documentation of extended performance activities as the basis of their form.
Vexations is based on Eric Satie’s enigmatic 1893 musical composition of the same title. Famously, Satie’s short but difficult score included an epigraph that stated “to play this piece 840 times one would need to prepare oneself in the greatest silence with serious immobility”. For this work the artist spent 15 days in a gallery relearning how to play piano by learning this piece. While doing this, she also produced a vast wall drawing reflecting her experience. This drawing was continually photographed, producing the set of 840 images - a vast new visual score – that are on show at AC Institute.
One + One (The Reading) is work in video and drawing taken from a 7 hour public performance of the artist reading all the proper nouns from James Joyce’s Ulysses. The performance was filmed using a specially commissioned 12.5m miniature rail track. This scene of a tracking shot of a woman reading was itself inspired by the opening sequence to Jean Luc Godard’s Le Mépris -a film about the making of a film of The Odyssey, which of course is the epic tale of homecoming upon which Joyce based Ulysses.
Such circularities and refractions of image and subject are central to the structure and idea of both works.
Brigid Mc Leer is an Irish artist based in London. She trained in Fine Art at NCAD, Dublin, University of Ulster, Belfast and Slade School of Art, London. She is interested in ideas of duration and contingency and works in various media/modes including video, performance, photography, and drawing/writing.
Recent solo exhibitions include ‘One + One’, at Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and Wexford Arts Centre, Ireland, Isoli [cont.], Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, and ‘Vexations’, Site Gallery Sheffield, UK. Group exhibitions include ‘A Game of Two Halves’, Lewis Gallery, Rugby School, ‘L’Ulitma Cena’, Reffetorio di San Michele, Pescia, Italy, ‘Beyond Fontana’, curated by Stephanie Moran, Studio 1.1, London and ‘Unspeaking Engagements’ curated by Steve Dutton and Brian Curtin, Chulalongkorn University Gallery, Bangkok and LGP Coventry. Mc Leer is currently Course Director of Fine Art (BA) at Coventry School of Art & Design.
More details of her work can be found at www.brigidmcleer.com.