Alan Magee’s solo show, ‘Ode to the Soft Centre’, at Courthouse Gallery, Clare, has been extended until October 16th 2021.
The Courthouse Gallery is delighted to present Ode to the Soft Centre, a solo exhibition by Irish artist Alan Magee, whose recent work addresses the turbulent relationship between labour, technology, and the body. The preview of the exhibition will take place on Friday the 2nd of September from 6 to 9 pm. The Exhibition will run until Saturday the 2nd of October 2021.
Incorporating video, sculpture, and drawing, the works overlap to form multi-layered and satisfying linkages between them, whilst the processes used in their creation span an even more diverse array. Utilising Virtual reality, Ceramics, Robotics, Digital sculpture, 3D printing and Drawing, Magee questions modern capitalisms effect on the human condition, in particular, the labour of the handmade. In this show, as with much of Magee’s practice, the often-humorous works provide immediate enjoyment, while allowing for a deeper reading. The works on display are conceptually tethered to the labour of their making, and as such can be read as performance as much as sculpture.
In The problem of Materialisation, Magee investigates the complex nature of immateriality and the role of the labouring body, as he uses gaming software in the creation a digital sculpture. The viewer is presented with various incarnations of the work, alluding to problems drawn from Benjamin’s notion of the Aura, and Baudrillard’s Simulation and simulacra. In the work Celestial Machines, the artist explores ideas of creativity, agency and the handmade. On viewing the work, various hierarchies immerge, such as worker/management, human/God etc. that pose questions around the political and social consequences of the rapid development of technology. This is also seen in the Immaterial Organ Series, where Magee combines the ancient and modern in a process of materialising the immaterial, which further amplifies the disconnect between the body and the mind.
In Ode to the Soft Centre, Magee sets up (and simultaneously undermines) several dichotomies, such as material/immaterial, work/labour, process/artefact etc. This can be understood not only from the works themselves but also from the curation. As the exhibition has been separated into two zones, with elements of each work existing across both zones, the viewer is required to move back and forth between them, building and rebuilding on top of their initial reading.