Solas Nua presents fair is foul and foul is fair

2.NotToBeKnown
Aideen Barry, not to be known, gorgon, 2015. Performative Film, 5 min. 30 sec. single channel with sound. Courtesy of the artist.

Solas Nua, in collaboration with American University Museum, presents fair is foul and foul is fair featuring works by Irish artists Aideen Barry and Alice Maher in a special exhibition November 9 – December 15, 2019 at the Katzen Arts Center located at 4400 Massachusetts, NW. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Tina Kinsella.
“fair is foul and foul is fair” as claimed by the witches in Macbeth describes a world where nothing—no message, no deed—is ethically clear. In Shakespeare’s fair/foul world, evil walks abroad in the guise of good, and all expectations are confounded and confused. In this double exhibition by Alice Maher and Aideen Barry, tropes of what could be considered fair and foul morph into unrecognizable, interchangeable, and above all, challenging artworks. Both artists engage at the fault lines of artmaking where sociocultural movements, media, imagery, and language overlap and collapse in order to animate new, personal ways of communicating this semiotic conundrum. Both also bring an individual, stinging humor and critique to their investigations of hybridity,  carnality, and social politics in historical time. In her film works, Barry explores concepts of the uncanny and the monstrous feminine where she finds foundational substrata reflective of her own lived experience. The human animal-machine becomes, for her, a vehicle of an anxious interrogation of the boundaries of the psyche. Equally, Maher’s hand finished woodblock prints and hand pressed sculptures advance her continued questioning of the phenomenon of the material present. Her hybridized images and objects expose phenomenological questions and excitations inherent in the body, and its psychodramatic task of being human. The focus of both artists on the interchangeabilities of fairness and foulness is played out in this exhibition with a fascinating and urgent energy.  

RELATED EVENTS:
Opening Night Gallery Talk: “fair is foul and foul is fair” Saturday, November 9, 5-6PM
Explore themes of foulness and fairness in this gallery talk focused on works by collaborating Irish artists Aideen Barry and Alice Maher. Featuring a vocal performance by Ceara Conway of a poem by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, specially created for this exhibition. Free and open to all, please RSVP HERE.

Late Fall Opening Reception Saturday, November 9, 6-9PM
Mix and mingle with artists, curators, and fellow patrons and preview five new exhibitions at our Late Fall opening reception. Free and open to all, no RSVP required.

6SKIN Screening & discussion Tuesday, November 12, 7PM

Screening of 6SKIN a collaborative experimental film by Aideen Barry & Alice Maher. Followed by a discussion Somatic Encounter; the Politics of the Body in the work of Irish artists, Aideen Barry and Alice Maher with the artists, the exhibition curator Dr. Tina Kinsella, moderated by Dr. Shirley Graham. This program takes place at NYU, Washington DC, 1307 L Street, NW, Washington DC 20005. RSVP HERE.
CITIZEN LANE Film Screening Wednesday, December 11, 6:30-8:30PM
In conjunction with fair is foul & foul is fair, the Irish film CITIZEN LANE will be shown in the AU Museum. In Dublin in the early 20th century, Hugh Lane fights to establish a public modern art gallery to show the work of
living artists until his untimely death on the Lusitania. Free and open to all, please RSVP HERE.

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