Artists. Anna McMahon, Spence Messih
Organisations. Auto Italia South East, Firstdraft
This collaborative project between Sydney-based artists Anna McMahon and Spence Messih was staged at Auto Italia South East in London. The exhibition explored transformations of bodies by and with language, and the slippery processes of coding and classifying both. The collaborators, through the multifaceted characteristics of the ‘stain’, considered what it means to wilfully occupy the site around inclusion and exclusion. The exhibition explored ideas such as absorption and proliferation, opacity and readability within sculptural and performative works.
The final exhibition took the form of a site-specific installation in which McMahon and Messih’s bodies of sculpture functioned performatively as tools for containing readings by Jos Charles (US), Brian Fuata (AU/WS), Real Madrid (BR, IT), Vincent Silk (AU) and Ainslie Templeton (AU).
Programming also occurred outside the exhibition, including a tour and an in conversation with Fiontan Moran, Assistant Curator at the Tate Modern. To Stumble and to slip was an event where invited artists and writers—Adrien Hester (UK), Prem Sahib (UK), and Ainslie Templeton (AU)—responded to prevalent LGBT themes in the show. Live readings and presentations considered personal perspectives of bodies and architectures—the works approached ideas of what a body is, or could be when a body isn’t present.
The Keir Foundation is delighted to commission and support the development of this project.