BATON ROUGE, LA.- Internationally acclaimed political artist, Malcolm McClay has been added to Baton Rouge Gallery's 2009 Flatscape Video Art Series (Subversion: Anarchy, Art & Activism), as a featured speaker on Saturday, Feb. 28.
The February 28 installment of Flatscape entitled "Illegal Evidence: Art Against Authority" will feature a McClay (speaking about his experience as an artist and activist) along with a screening of three very distinctive works of video art that examine anarchist and activist elements in illegal installation art, artistic sabotage as well as guerrilla artists caught in the act.
Malcolm McClay was Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and raised in Donegal, Ireland. McClay studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast, where he received his BA honors degree in Three-Dimensional Design. He came to the U.S. in 1986, and earned his MA in Sculpture from New Mexico State University, returning to Ireland after he graduated. He came back to the U.S. after a year and a half in Australia and Asia to attend the graduate program at The Ohio State University, where he received his MFA in Sculpture and Performance. There he co-founded Crisus, a performance company. For the next ten years, Crisus wrote, produced, and toured large-scale multimedia performances throughout the U.S. and abroad. Malcolm moved with Crisus from Ohio to New Orleans, then to Chicago, and finally to San Francisco. In 1999, Malcolm moved away from performance to concentrate on interactive installation and kinetic sculpture. Malcolm moved from San Francisco to Louisiana in 2002 and joined the faculty of Louisiana State University's School of Art in the fall of 2003.
Growing up close to the border with Northern Ireland and spending four years in Belfast during "The Troubles," McClay developed an interest in how political forces affect people's lives. The individuals he became most interested in were those uninvolved yet caught both physically and psychologically in the crossfire of events. His interest in this political dynamic continues to inform his work. Another recurrent theme in McClay's work is driven by his innate curiosity and attraction to the visual poetry of mechanical objects; this is reflected in the robotics and interactive elements he incorporates in his work. Another component is an intense interest in his audience. From an early involvement in theater, his work evolved to include sound, light, movement, text, physical objects and even himself. He was less interested in blurring the lines between sculpture and theater than driven by a desire to find the most direct and powerful means of communicating to his audience on a visceral level. He wanted to take the metaphorical and make it a physical, tangible experience.