Opening reception: 6–8pm Thursday 24th March
Register a time for the preview here
Exhibition continues: Friday 25th March – Saturday 9th April
Artist Talk: Day Magee—Contraindications of the Cross
6pm Friday 1st April
Online and in-person at Pallas Projects gallery & Zoom.
The talk will be an overview of their practice extrapolating the show work by work and as a whole.
Closing event: Day Magee—Contraindications of the Cross
6pm, Friday 8th April
Live performance by Day Magee
Gallery open: 12–6pm, Thursday–Saturday
Please note: The show contains themes of grief, illness, and violence intended for a mature audience that may be triggering for some people.
Pallas Projects/Studios are pleased to present Day Magee—Contraindications of the Cross the first exhibition of our 2022 Artist-Initiated Projects programme.
The passage of time behaves differently for all of us. Subjectivity produces self-mythologies in the primal language of one’s perception that, in the mutual dynamic tension between the individual and thecollective, produce histories. These auto-mythopoeses act as localised units of temporal measurement, and are told - or performed - in lives lived out, embodied in self-fulfilling prophecies.
Queerness, illness, and their intersecting histories, deviate from normative social narratives as socially inscribed through Judeo-Christian ideology, where deviance of sexuality and ability may be conflated in accordance with sin, or, paralleled in the history of medicine, as pathologies. Acutely individuated by virtue of its existence, and lacking the narrative template of itself reflected in culture beyond romanticised martyrdom, the queer sick body must author its own survival. It must convince itself of itself in an imposed narcissism where the self is externally, spatially absent. The digital space offers promises, false or otherwise, of where these subaltern identities may yet be formatively constructed and memetically reproduced in ways physical space cannot initially facilitate, but whose subsequent navigation may yet emulate that of the digital. Our traumas, our pain, become a way of measuring time, ourselves, and reality itself. In masochistic fixation, we emulate Messianic imagery: our crosses to bear, our sacrifices, become coded as our capital and our salvation.
In Contraindications of the Cross, Magee presents a series of votive multimedia chronicling the lived intersections of queerness, illness and faith, prospecting the raw material of their experiences. Raised in fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity, and socialised as male, they navigated the traumas of conversion therapy and sexual violence, each intermingled with the inception of their queerness. In adulthood, they would go on to survive the ravages of chronic pain, chemically mediated through opioids.
Bedbound and isolated for months, sometimes years, unable to work or physically practice identity or intimacy, the chronic pain patient is limited to guide one’s self, moment to moment, through the onslaught of neurological pain. Where time then becomes meaningless, and their condition necessitating hypervigilant self-surveillance, screens become one’s only means of experiencing the outside world and representing the self. Chronic pain disorders themselves are often diagnoses of exclusion, requiring faith on the part of both doctors and the state where pain’s source is otherwise unquantifiable. The invisibility of the illness renders it suspect under social stigma. The Christian notion of faith as analogue for the responsibility for one’s own salvation is reflected in this plight, ever wavering between victim and martyr for their individual cause - to live. To the sick man at the edge of the pool of Bethesda praying for healing, Jesus simply said, “Do you want to be made healed? Take up thy bed and walk”.
Here, a queer sick body makes their bed, and lies in it. Documenting the parallels in their own life to the greater implications in medicine and political faith during the pandemic, they saw the world share a glimpse of their isolation. From this psychic vantage point is gleaned a personal iconography of their own death drive, rendered across physical and digital multimedia, weaving a history from which futurity may yet be divined.
Special thanks to Cian McLoughlin, Martin O’Brien, and Padraig Regan.
Day Magee is a performance-centred multimedia artist based in Dublin. Since 2011, they have performed as part of live art organisations such as Livestock and the Dublin Live Art Festival, before pursuing a BA in Sculpture & Combined Media in Limerick School of Art & Design in 2017, during their time there staging group live art events with the collective Evil, and by their third year exhibiting work as part of Galway’s Tulca Festival 2019, group shows in Dublin and Manhattan, as well as being put forward for the Future Generation Art Prize 2020 by its Irish partner platform Pallas Projects Studios, and shortlisted for the RDS Visual Arts Awards. They are most recently commissioned by Arts & Disability Ireland and Live Art Ireland in 2021.
Magee’s work concerns the grieving of futurity as per the subjectivity of a queer sick body - queerness navigated via fundamentalist Christianity, and illness as manifest in chronic pain. Taking the form of performative multimedia, from live performance to image-making, the written word and music, they manifest and chronicle a self-mythology.
Artist-Initiated Projects at Pallas Projects/Studios is an open-submission, annual gallery programme of 8 x 3-week exhibitions taking place from March-November 2022. 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.
Pallas Projects/Studios is funded by The Arts Council
Posters designed by Day Magee
Documentation images by Viktorija Kacanauskaite