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Events 2014


Bea McMahon

Opening: Fr, October 3, 2014, 8 p.m.

The Salzburger Kunstverein is proud to present the first exhibition of Irish artist Bea McMahon in Austria. Bea McMahon received a Masters in Visual Arts Practice from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design in 2007. Prior to that, she completed a primary degree in pure mathematics at Trinity College Dublin (1994) and a Master’s degree in mathematical physics at University College Dublin (1997). She recently completed the two-year residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, where she now lives and works.

McMahon works with video, drawing, painting, installation and performance art. Her work often navigates through conceptions of reality and their corresponding appearances in the outside world. Trained in the sciences, Bea McMahon employs versions and associations of mathematics and physics that play with distinctions between objects, space and time, while resonating with aspects of memory, histories of knowledge, poetry, memory, human emotions, arcane languages, and other associations that mingle with our contemporary world.

“In her exhibition, Cover, Irish artist Bea McMahon addresses, in a characteristically diffuse manner, the regulatory institution of The Law and the distinctions made in its name, including who or what might be deemed to lie outside it. As an Irish artist with a strong, if esoteric sense of history, who has lived in the Netherlands for some years but also recently spent time working in Italy, McMahon is alert to the vectors of atavistic allegiance and alienation through which we habitually distinguish ourselves from others. Here she reaches back to the pre-Socratic philosophy of Anaxagoras, who posited the origin of the cosmos as a result of the ordering force of Mind (Nous) as it separated the primordial soup into distinct ingredients, before picking up the Biblical figure of the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ and then elaborating on that canine imagery via a bouncy liturgical ditty titled ‘Beasts in Disco,’ which features a gravely intoned litany of disparate dog’s coats. McMahon’s densely allusive installation also registers a long-term fascination with the medieval figure of the insular Irish poet, who ritually composed in darkness with a boulder on his belly, as well as a more recent concentration on the fraught history of the early 20th century as it unfolded across the continent of Europe.” Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith

Bea McMahon, born 1972 in Dublin, lives and works in Amsterdam

Kindly supported by Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, and Mondriaan Fund

Bea McMahon, Loop Us, 2014, HD-video, videostill

Bea McMahon, Loop Us, 2014, HD-video, videostill
Photo: courtesy of the artist

Bea McMahon, Loop Us, 2014, HD-video, videostill

Bea McMahon. Cover
Irish artist Bea McMahon talks about her exhibition “Cover” at Salzburger Kunstverein (10/04-11/30/2014).