Green on Red

Bea McMahon

11 Nov - 11 Dec 2010

© Bea McMahon
Still from InDivisible (2010)
Video projection, 7 mins approx
"Two-fold "

11 Nov - 11 Dec 2010

Green on Red Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of its next exhibition of new work, Two-Fold, by Bea McMahon on Thursday, November 11, running until December 11, 2010. The exhibition centres around InDivisible, a moving image work using the apparatus of 3D film technology.

Bea is an artist of exceptional talent and originality as evidenced by the level of intellectual engagement with her subjects and the imaginative invention in the execution. She completed her MA in Visual Art only after completing her post-graduate work as a Mathematical physicist and immediately launched her artistic career with highly original works in video, sculpture and drawing/collage. “ Sometimes the work can seem elliptical and elusive, only allowing you the pleasure when you can board this spinning set of allusions and reference points, a process that more than rewards the effort it takes “ (Mike Nelson, the curator in Curated Visual Arts Award, 2008)

Her work travels along a strange and boundless path between an inner reality of thought and the ordinary outside world. Although her practice does not subscribe to an obvious visual lexicon of science, it does rely on thought processes she learned through the study of mathematics – one that exists in a state before logic and before language.

In the opening paragraph of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man the protagonist says ‘I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.’

Her film’s onscreen title viewed through 3D glasses reads DIVISIBLE in the left eye and INVISIBLE in the right eye. The real time elements of this film installation were shot using two cameras simultaneously. During filming, in Braddock and Sewickly, the cameras were positioned on a device that replicates the short distance between human eyes. This footage of figures mounted on a horse, repeated circular forms and a figure was then combined with a number of animated sequences. The synchronized films are projected onto the same screen made of mirror and spray coated in milk. One projector has a right hand circular polarizing filter covering its lens, the other a left hand circular polarizing filter. 3D glasses worn by the viewer, along with the perfectly reflecting surface of the screen, allow the superimposed double image to be separated into the viewer’s right and left eye.

The mechanics of binocular human vision are drawn to the fore; two eyes yet one image. And more than exploring the illusion created by 3D cinema technology, the parallax effect is disrupted in certain sequences that contain entirely different images for each eye, this adds a further layer of complication to viewing conditions in the gallery, where the viewer’s attention is split between the inside of the frame (the film) and the outside of the frame (the gallery space around the screen) and with the viewer also asserts control over which way to see with their own eyes.

In this work the mechanics of production and the materials of display coalesce with the conceptual arguments and subject matter, creating a situation where elements reference and reveal aspects of each other. It counts out and orders an illogical, complicated, unreasonable thing; an irregular set of possibilities not admitted by the secular capitalist system we live in which has monopolized myths in the course of generating its own. 3D cinema has been advertised as being more ‘real’. Spinoza states that the more reality that belongs to the nature of anything, the greater is the power for existence it derives from itself. Yet our attention on the light which has been reflected, halved, added and separated point toward things escaping our vision, extant but not seen.

Since her last exhibition in Green On Red Gallery in 2008 she has featured in numerous projects and exhibitions including her residency and exhibition, Nothing is Impossible, in the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh curated by Georgina Jackson and Mark Garry, Into Irish Drawing, Limerick City Gallery, Hengelo, Holland and The Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, The Visual Artist’s Award, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin and Void Gallery, Derry, Timespace, Burren College of Art, Gracelands, 2010 and 2009, Mimetic House, Leitrim, the Sinop Biennale, Istanbul 2010 selected by Vaari Claffey, among others. She will now will take up residency culminating in a show in the foundation dedicated to Johathan Latham, called Flat Time House in London and will participate in The Yvonne Rainer Project curated by Chantal Pontbriand at the BFI, London. Her new video work Field ( 2010 ) was shown in the series of curated exhibitions called Unbuilding in Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, last month and was described as operating “ between multiple planes that combine land art with Mathematical Theory, Theoretical Physics, astronomy, nature studies, science-fiction and spiritual mysticism “. The work seen in Two-Fold was made during her residency in the US in early 2010.

For more information contact Jerome O Drisceoil or Mary Caffrey at T: +353 1 6713414 / E:

The next exhibition at the gallery is an exhibition of new works by gallery artists, present and future opening to the public on December 14 and running until January 29th, 2011.

Tags: Mark Garry, Mike Nelson, Yvonne Rainer, Rainer Fetting