Me­gan Roo­ney. Fi­re On The Moun­tain

18.05. - 11.08.2019

[Detail. For a full view, click on the picture] Megan Rooney. Back to Breath. Back to Wind., 2018. Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Megan Rooney (b. 1985) is an enig­mat­ic sto­ry­teller whose work ex­pands across paint­ing, per­for­mance, writ­ten and spo­ken word, sculp­ture, and in­stal­la­tion. In most­ly
site-spe­cif­ic ar­range­ments, she com­bines the in­di­vid­u­al com­po­nents in­to large-scale in­stal­la­tions. Rooney’s ref­er­ences en­gage with ma­te­ri­al­i­ty and the hu­man sub­ject and are deeply in­vest­ed in the pre­sent mo­ment: the fes­ter­ing chaos of pol­i­tics with its myr­i­ad cru­el­ties and the laden vi­o­lence of our so­ci­ety, so res­i­dent in the home, in the
fe­male, in the body.

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 life and her sur­round­ings. These are whim­si­cal and in some cas­es grotesque ev­ery­day ex­pe­ri­ences, hu­mor­ous ob­ser­va­tions, as well as gloomy sce­nar­ios, and pas­sion­ate col­or com­po­si­tions.

A con­sti­tu­tive and re­cur­ring el­e­ment in Megan Rooney’s works is the hu­man body, which can be seen as the sub­jec­tive start­ing point and fi­nal place of sed­i­men­ta­tion for all these ex­pe­ri­ences. Her paint­ings and in­stal­la­tions are pop­u­lat­ed with pe­cu­liar char­ac­ters, body parts, and faces that raise ques­tions re­gard­ing the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty and the in­fir­mi­ty of the body as such and the fe­male body in par­tic­u­lar. The artist’s use of ma­te­ri­als al­so re­flects her in­ter­est in our ac­tu­al and dai­ly sur­round­ings: House­hold items such as clean­ing rags en­counter ma­te­ri­als used to close off con­struc­tion sites; in­dus­tri­al bar­rels, dog toys, or golf clubs are com­bined with found ob­jects from the ur­ban space. Small hero­ics and ob­jects that we tend to over­look take cen­ter stage in Rooney’s work while she is care­ful­ly map­ping the ex­te­ri­or and in­te­ri­or land­scape of our so­ci­ety and strength­en­ing our sen­si­tiv­i­ty for ev­ery­day epics.

Rooney’s work has been ex­hib­it­ed wide­ly across Eu­rope, most re­cent­ly at the Ser­pen­tine Gallery in Lon­don, the Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in War­saw, Tramway in Glas­gow, and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Fire on the Moun­tain is Megan Rooney’s first in­sti­tu­tion­al so­lo ex­hi­bi­tion in Ger­many. Specif­i­cal­ly for the space of the Kun­sthalle Düssel­dorf,
the artist cre­at­ed a new body of work cen­tered around a large-scale, site-spe­cif­ic mu­ral sev­en­teen by eight me­ters in size.

An ad­di­tion­al com­po­nent of the ex­hi­bi­tion is the three-part per­for­mance se­ries EV­ERY­WHERE BEEN THERE, which Rooney de­vel­oped in co­op­er­a­tion with the chore­og­ra­pher
Temi­tope Ajose-Cut­ting and the mu­si­cian Pao­lo Thors­en-Nagel. The per­for­mance will pre­miere in three con­sec­u­tive chap­ters on 24, 25, and 26 May 2019 in the ex­hi­bi­tion space.

Cu­rat­ed by An­na Lena Seis­er

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be ac­com­pa­nied by Megan Rooney’s first mono­graph, to be pub­lished in Ju­ly 2019, with texts by Emi­ly LaBarge (au­thor and pro­fes­sor at the Roy­al Col­lege of Art in Lon­don) and Quinn La­timer (art crit­ic and ed­i­tor of the doc­u­men­ta14 pub­li­ca­tion se­ries “SOUTH”), among oth­ers.

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