Fire On The Mountain
With Fire On The Mountain, in the summer of 2019 the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf will host the first institutional solo exhibition in Germany of the up-and-coming artist Megan Rooney. Born in 1985, the Canadian artist works across a variety of media, including paintings, installations, performances, and language. In mostly site-specific arrangements, she combines the individual components into large-scale installations. With a striking signature, Rooney develops enigmatic and always intense narratives.
After growing up between South Africa, Brazil, and Canada, Rooney has lived in London for the past ten years. She draws the subjects of her works directly from her own life and surroundings. These are fanciful and in some cases grotesque everyday experiences, as well as sometimes humorous observations, which she always first “jots down” as drawings. A recurring element in Megan Rooney’s work is the human body, which can be seen as the subjective starting point and final “place” of sedimentation for all these experiences. The texts written by the artist, which accompany the installations as documents, soundtracks, and—in the case of the performances—live elements, often allude to inner processes, sensory perceptions, and domestic life. This interest in the personal, both spatially and mentally, is also reflected in the materials that Rooney uses. Her objects and installations include household items and everyday objects as well as found items. Based on her living situation as an artist in London (short-term leases for affordable studio spaces), in recent years Rooney has developed a “nomadic” artistic practice, as evidenced by her particular use of volumes, among other things: painted objects and fabrics are stuffed with filling and can thus be understood as a transfer of painting into three-dimensional space. The modulation from shell to body emphasizes their perception as an interface between exterior and interior.
After participating in impressive exhibitions and performances at the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Megan Rooney will now develop a completely new body of work for her solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, centered around a large-scale, site-specific mural some fourteen by seven meters in size. In addition, in cooperation with the choreographer Temitope Ajose-Cutting, a new performance will be created, whose premiere you are cordially invited to attend on the weekend after the opening. The title Fire On The Mountain is a reference to William Golding’s 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, in which a group of boys stranded on an island attempt to ensure their survival and organize. The fire on the top of the mountain is meant to signal their presence to passing ships, but is neglected by part of the group and dies out.
Curated by Anna Lena Seiser
The exhibition will be accompanied by Megan Rooney’s first monograph, with texts by Emily LaBarge (writer and professor at the Royal College of Art in London) and Quinn Latimer (art critic and editor of the documenta 14 publication series SOUTH).