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For the eighth edition of Paris Internationale, Deborah Schamoni is happy to present large-format paintings by Irish artist Aileen Murphy (b. 1984) and furniture pieces of the series Do you want us here or not by US-American artist and activist Shannon Finnegan (b. 1989).
In her distinctive approach to painting, Aileen Murphy generates imagery through a combination of slow layering and fast applications of oil paint, animating a delicate urgency and sparking sensations of both epiphany and discomfort. Fictive characters are the focal points of Murphy’s paintings. The figures fluctuate under the viewer’s eye, revealing and concealing themselves behind and via the materiality of the medium. The vivid painterly gestures suggest exuberant joy and stimulation, but seem quite more complex upon closer inspection: the surface consists of scribbles and marks, translucent watercolor base layers reveal traces of erasures, and text blurbs are scratched in the wet paint. In Murphys hands, painting is an act of imaginative action—colour and gesture are live wires.
Multidisciplinary artist Shannon Finnegan inserts interventions into exhibition spaces to focus on their accessibility. The works reflect their overarching practice and its focus on accessibility on both physical and digital spaces. There are many places where no provisions seem to have been made for people and their basic physical needs, their tiredness and exhaustion, for example, within the white cube of the contemporary art world, in which furnishings themselves can become art. Finnegan shows that access can only be ensured where the ideology of a conforming, normative body is unlearned and spaces are reconceived on the basis of multiple needs. In this way, the act of sitting recalls the sit- in as a protest form, with its occupation of space suggesting the presence of political bodies who often remain invisible at the protest marches where participants are required to be mobile. The day clocks Have you ever fallen in love with a clock? move so slowly that it’s hard to tell if they’re working at all. “What are the objects of disability culture?” Finnegan asks.