BOM is an exhibition of new work from Amsterdam-based Irish artist Be a McMahon. The exhibition features performance, video, sculpture, and drawing works, many of which are presented for the first time.
The works in BOM have their beginnings in the artist’s recent experience of searching for wolves in the French mountains with a camera. Although wolves are not directly represented in the exhibition, both the experience of anticipating their encounter and the mythological history of these animals serve as structuring principles for the artworks. These works include a Super 8 film that repeatedly shows a reddened human ear that appears behind a veil of long hair, a sculpture that approximates a sheep, and a series of drawings that contain the letters that constitute the line ‘DOG LOVES PATRICK’.
Like the form of an ‘epistolary’ novel – similar in this sense to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where the reader has to determine a phantom-being through a triangulation of voices, documents and correspondences – the works in BOM are held in a chorus of apprehension and fear. The wolf lurks at the edges of the exhibition, slipping between the frames of film reel and the utterances of language. It connects a range of references – from medieval folklore (the tale that if a wolf sees you first, you lose your ability to speak; if you see it first, it loses its animal power) – through to the Irish origins of the word ‘wolf’ (mac tíre) to denote ‘the son of the land’, reflecting its feral and territorial nature.
Bea McMahon was born in Dublin in 1972 and currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Her recent projects include performances at W139, Amsterdam, Via Farini, Milan and a solo exhibition at Salzburg Kunstverein. Other exhibitions include A Modern Panarion; glimpses of the Occult, Hugh Lane City Gallery, Dublin; In the House of Mr and Mrs X, Temporary Gallery, Köln, 2013; Volcano Extravaganza, Stromboli, Italy; Warp and Woof, CCA Glasgow 2011; Flat Time House, London, 2011; True Complex at Void, Derry 2008.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.