The Sound and Vision of Claire Boucher
Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, continues to blow minds with her multi-disciplinary talents not only in music and visual arts but also in video.
This March at the 2018 JUNOS, she was recognized for the second year in a row for her talent as a director. Claire and her brother Mac Boucher won the 2017 Video of the Year for “Kill V. Maim”, a song from her acclaimed album Art Angels. This year, it was the stunning big-budget 7-minute clip for “Venus Fly”, featuring Janelle Monáe, that showcased the evolution of Boucher’s unique vision.
The video not only won the Stingray Music-sponsored 2018 Video of the Year award, but Claire’s overall artistry also earned her the Stingray Rising Star award, which is part of the Stingray Music mission to champion Canadian artists.
The Grimes Gaze
Claire Boucher first began directing out of necessity. In her 2012 breakout video for “Oblivion”, video-maker and friend Emily Kai Bock first showcased the Grimes vibe by framing Claire in headphones bopping and singing to the camera “as the most dominant thing in the frame while at the same time surrounded by men twice her size.” The clip was an Internet sensation that launched both her music and the engaging Grimes persona.
However, her next experiences in video were like a step backward. She quickly learned the industry was rife with male directors imposing their “male gaze” on female artists - always trying to slip in a butt or boob close-up for no logical reason. So, she decided to direct and edit her videos herself. She quickly reveled in the creative opportunities the form gave her. Colours, wardrobe, improvisation, and dance – none of it typical of music video conventions – have since received the one-of-a-kind Boucher treatment.
In an era when Beyoncé’s Lemonade has morphed the standard “record album” genre into a new art form of sound and vision together, Claire has been creating a series of colour-infused videos for song after song from Art Angels. This new form sometimes requires reworking a tune to make it better serve the video, which is the case with “Venus Fly”. The extravagant, futuristic clip offers an alternate mix of the song over the credits.
On April 10, Janelle Monáe released the song and video for “PYNK”, featuring Grimes, from her chart-blazing album Dirty Computer. The two uncompromising artists with bold new visions together again!
Claire Boucher will receive the Hi-Fidelity Award for creating video art in a consistently creative and innovative way this May 13 at the 2018 Prism Prize screening and awards presentation at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. The “Venus Fly” video is also in the running for the Prism Grand Prize (which comes with a sweet $15,000 as well).
If you haven’t yet seen it, watch “Venus Fly” featuring Janelle Monáe on Stingray Vibe.