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Sidney McMahon’s latest installation, Of sorrow and release, choreographs the diverse and complex emotional registers that evolve over time when processing experiences of loss, change and revelation.
Bringing together moving sculpture, video and sound, McMahon addresses the personal experience of mourning and celebration that has accompanied the artist’s own unfolding queer narrative.
Monumental sail cloths rise and fall from ropes and pulleys suspended from the ceiling, while a performative two-channel video sees the artist searching for something they both do and do not wish to find. Dynamic, variable and in a constant state of settling and unsettling, McMahon’s installation interweaves human, psychological and computational perspectives to ultimately respond to the question: ‘How do I celebrate the person I am now whilst expressing sorrow for my previous self?’
Initially commissioned by Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) for Overlapping Magisteria: The 2020 Macfarlane Commissions, Of sorrow and release is restaged at the ACE Open gallery with adapted lighting, sound and a new text-based installation.
About the artist
Sidney McMahon is a Sydney-based artist that works across sculptural installation, video and performance. McMahon has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Of hope and longing, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, Goulburn, New South Wales 2020; and Canter, Outer Space Gallery, Brisbane, 2019. Recent group exhibitions include Overlapping Magisteria: The 2020 Macfarlane Commissions, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2020; Space Syntax, Verge Gallery, Sydney, 2020; and Tender rip, Auto Italia, London, 2019. McMahon has also been the recipient of numerous residencies, including at Parramatta Artists Studios from 2016–18, at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, 2017, Studio Voltaire, London, 2017, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2018, and Move Arts Japan and Asia link Arts program between Kyoto and Tokyo, 2018.
Presented in association with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, this project was initially commissioned by ACCA for Overlapping Magisteria: The 2020 Macfarlane Commissions, supported by the Macfarlane Fund. The development of this work was additionally supported by Create New South Wales.