You Who Never Arrived
Photographs by Jennifer McClure
May 30, 2013-June 27, 2013
I have a long history of temporary relationships punctuated by extended periods of isolation. As forty loomed closer, I decided to examine the meltdowns and the patterns to find out where I was responsible. I restaged my memories in hotel rooms, which are as impersonal and unlived in as my romances tended to be. The opening of old wounds unintentionally shed light on current patterns as lines blurred between the past and the present. The hotel rooms (sets that were always surprises) took on a different role: they came to stand for the complete lack of control that I feel in relationships.
I have been chasing an image that doesn’t exist. I am more comfortable dreaming about relationships than being in one. The stories I tell myself about my loves are far more dramatic than the actual shared experiences, and the disconnect between fantasy and reality became increasingly apparent with each staged narrative. This project is a mourning for an entire system that no longer works.
“Amorous passion is a delirium; but such delirium is not alien: everyone speaks of it, it is henceforth tamed. What is enigmatic is the loss of delirium: one returns to…what?”
Roland Barthes A Lover’s Discourse
Jennifer McClure is a fine art and documentary photographer based in New York City. She uses the camera to ask and answer questions. Most importantly, she wants to know why anyone ever gets out of bed in the morning. Jennifer turned the camera on herself after a long illness limited her access to other people. The self-portraits have become for her a way to stay in one piece, a way to be able to collect herself. She is interested in appearances and absences, short stories, poetry, and movies without happy endings.
Jennifer was born in Virginia and raised all over the Southeast. The child of a Marine, she moved frequently and traumatically. Photographs were the proof that she lived in this place, was friends with those people. She decorated her walls with traces of her past. After acquiring a B.A. in English Theory and Literature, Jennifer began a long career in restaurants. She returned to photography in 2001, taking classes at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography. Her work has been included in several group shows and online publications, and she was recently awarded CENTER’s Editor’s Choice by Susan White of Vanity Fair.
Visit Jennifer McClure’s Website