28/06/18—07/07/18

apply direct pressure—Miguel Martin / Jennifer Mehigan

Miguel Martin / Jennifer Mehigan
With a text contribution by Alissa Kleist

Opening reception: 6–8pm Thursday 28th June 2018
Exhibition runs: Thursday 28th June – Saturday 7th July
Gallery open: 12–6pm Thursday–Saturday (Please note early closing time 3pm Saturday)

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Artists Talk: Miguel Martin will be in conversation with Alissa Kleist on Thursday July 5th at 5pm

Miguel Martin and Jennifer Mehigan have developed practices that engage materially and metaphorically with dissecting notions of wellness, anxiety, and care. Infused with the clumsily seductive languages of advertising, cult recruiting strategies, and self-help books, the two explore the manner in which technology functions as a mechanism for establishing and undoing personhood, and how it may be possible to occupy the spaces in between person-ness (life) and de-person-ness (death). These spaces, created by experiences of being detached from the ‘real’, can be used as positions to investigate the sovereignties and universalities that accompany discussions of taking care of yourself, and the inevitable pitfalls of believing in your own bullshit. “apply direct pressure” is a conversation that is better shared, and the exhibition is accompanied by a text written by Alissa Kleist.

Martin’s new work examines attitudes surrounding contemporary forms of mindfulness in a digital age, and questions its various associations to practices of occultism and worship. He was taught the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) at the age of 11, and combines his personal experiences with research into narratives surrounding tropes of contemporary occultism and its gurus, garments, and symbolism. Drawing aesthetic influences from horror and still lifes, the tone of Martin’s work is softly sinister and includes components such as an industrially fabricated sign emblazoned with the words “Search Inside Yourself”, appropriated from the title of a mindfulness course developed at Google HQ to improve employee productivity.

“Fantasy Flesh 2.0” is an ongoing project by Mehigan that uses video, text, painting, and installation to engage with the documentation of trauma and its effect/affect on social media. A video component, sub-titled “Suicide Girls” is a meditative merging of science fiction, essay, and memoir. Entangling depression, psychosis, desire, alternate universes, and dreamscapes, a series of holes and horses appear in a hotel bar that begins to fall apart, and experiences of contact and intimacy take centre stage.

apply direct pressure is supported by The British Council

Biographies:

Miguel Martin (b. 1985 Belfast, UK) BA Fine and Applied Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast (2005 –2008) Lives in Belfast and works at Platform Arts, Belfast. Solo shows include: 2017/2018 Let the Dead Leaves Fall, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown; 2016 Put to the sword, CCA Derry-Londonderry; 2015 Curio, Ards Arts Centre; 2015 Out of Site, University Art Gallery, Belfast; 2011 All Good in the Manhood, Abrons Arts Centre, New York. Awards: 2015 Arts Council of Northern Ireland Artist’s Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES); 2012 and 2011 Arts Council of Northern Ireland Support for Individual Artist Award.

Jennifer Mehigan (1988, Singapore) is an artist based in Belfast. Initially trained in graphic design, her work spans multiple platforms, mixing together 3d modelling, found objects / images, poetry, textiles, painting, and installation. Solo shows include Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast and Interstitial in Seattle. She is currently an MFA candidate at the Belfast School of Art, Ulster University.

Alissa Kleist is a curator based in Belfast. She is one of the founders and Directors of Household, where, since 2012 – together with Sighle Bhreathnach-Cashell, Eoin Dara, Ciara Hickey, and Kim McAleese – she has collaboratively curated site-specific exhibitions, residencies and events, often with other institutional and community partners, in community, public, disused, and non-institutional spaces. She was the Curator (Exhibitions) at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Derry~Londonderry (2015-2018) and one of the Co-Directors at Catalyst Arts in Belfast (2011 - 2013). She has worked with Source magazine (2013-2015), regularly writes for a number of publications and online platforms, and as an independent curator has delivered projects at various institutions.

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Artist-Initiated Projects at Pallas Projects/Studios is an open-submission, annual gallery programme of 12 x 2-week exhibitions taking place between April and November 2018, in the context of a gallery space with a dedicated tradition towards the professional development of artists in a peer-led, supportive environment. This unique programme of funded, artist-initiated projects selected via open call is highly accessible to artists, with a focus on early career, emerging artists and recent graduates. Projects are supplemented with artists' talks, texts, workshops or performances, and gallery visits by colleges and local schools.

Artist-Initiated Projects aims to act as an incubator for early careers, and support artists' practices at crucial stages, providing a platform for artists to produce and exhibit challenging work across all art forms. The model of short-run exhibitions with a relatively short turnaround time of 3–6 months is an alternative to the normal institutional model, where the process of studio visit to exhibition can take several years. Shorter lead-in times allow the programme to be quick and responsive, reflect what artists are currently making, and encourage experimentation and risk-taking.

Pallas Projects/Studios Artist-Initiated Projects is supported by The Arts Council