Jesse McLean

Stars, They're Just Like Us

September 7 - October 20, 2013
Opening Reception September 7, 6-10 pm


“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

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“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

? Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Interstate Projects is pleased to present Stars, They're Just Like Us, Jesse McLean's second solo exhibition with the gallery. Through video, digital and letterpress prints, and interactive installations, the work in this show investigates the paradox of connection and belonging within systems that simultaneously contain us and comprise us.

It is between adoration and denunciation that we find an unpredictable psychological space. We build this space out of a yearning for connection to something other than ourselves, something extraordinary. Here we can see our potential for greatness, even stardom. Yet another desire is shaped in this space, a conflicting desire to reduce this greatness to the prosaic. We probe further and deeper, looking for evidence that this extraordinary presence is ordinary after all, that the stars are just like us.

Jesse McLean (b. 1975) lives and works in Iowa City, Iowa. She is currently a Assistant Professor of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa. She was the winner of the Overkill Award at the 2011 Images Festival and the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival. She has presented her work at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Venice Film Festival, Transmediale, 25 FPS Festival, Images Festival, European Media Arts Festival, Wexner Center for the Arts, Impakt, CPH:DOX, Kassel Doc FF, NEXT, Arthouse, Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Gallery 400, Three Walls, and PPOW Gallery. Her work has been written about and reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times, Bad at Sports, Format Court, and Cinema Scope among others

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