Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the address of the gallery.
Megan St. Clair’s fascination with the paranormal was born out of an incident playing with her mother’s old Ouija board.
St. Clair said she had contact with some sort of spirit, and then her cassette tape player began playing Twisted Sister’s “Captain Howdy” on its own.
“Stay away … from Captain Howdy,” the song goes.
Later, she learned that was the name of the demon in “The Exorcist.”
So, then, it’s only logical that St. Clair’s latest work of installation art is themed around “The Exorcist.”
“Intrudere,” which opened not coincidentally at the October Final Friday, is sparse by design.
The show features a bed, a TV on a bedside stand, and projected images on the wall above the bed. Speakers play samplings from “The Exorcist” and various other eerie noises.
“Your bedroom is supposed to be this place that you’re safe – your sanctuary,” St. Clair said. “The show is called ‘Intrudere,’ meaning an intruder from an unseen dimension. Sometimes your bedroom isn’t someplace that’s safe anymore, because of things that are unknown to us.”
St. Clair often ghost-hunts in Wichita, having done multiple investigations at places like the Kansas Aviation Museum and the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum.
“Intrudere” features footage from three places – a church on 17th Street, a church near Bentley, and a former mental asylum in Oklahoma City. You won’t see anything especially eerie in the videos themselves, but paired with the music, they lend an ominous effect.
“I pull so much inspiration from horror films,” she said.
The gallery where this show lives is only open by appointment.
If you make an appointment to see it, do so in the evening, if at all possible.
“Intrudere” is an emotionally-stimulating piece of installation art that, by virtue of its sparsity, draws the viewer in and invites thought about a world beyond our own.
The malevolence of that world is determined by the viewer.
Megan St. Clair’s show, “Intrudere,” will be up at 416 S. Commerce (gallery is in the back of the same building that houses WSU SHIFTSPACE) through November. Viewing the artwork is by appointment only. To make an appointment, email St. Clair at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about St. Clair, visit her website at www.meganstclairart.com.