Mary McIntyre – Places We Think We Know


Sat, 21 August 2021 - Sun, 21 November 2021

Open Wed-Sun 11:00-18:00 (Thu 19:00)


Dundee Contemporary Arts - 152 Nethergate Dundee DD1 4DY

Further info

Cost: Free


DCA website

Type: Exhibition

Mary McIntyre, Places We Think We Know, 2021. Installation view at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Photograph by Ruth Clark

This exhibition marks the first major solo presentation in Scotland by Irish artist Mary McIntyre, debuting a new body of work commissioned for DCA.

McIntyre has explored different types of ‘space’ in her work in myriad ways over the past two decades, and these investigations often focus on photographic depictions of places that have been forgotten or overlooked. The images she makes are frequently imbued with a psychological charge, hinting at traces of recent human presence and activity in evocative landscapes or interiors.

McIntyre is also interested in how a photograph occupies a gallery space as a physical object, and how the environment surrounding the image might inform how a work is experienced. She uses sculptural installation as a means of activating the rooms that her photographs inhabit, and in doing so makes a viewer more aware of the act of ‘looking’.

Ideas of interior space (both physical and psychological) have long reverberated throughout McIntyre’s practice, and in her new body of work for DCA, she presents a viewer with images of quiet interiors; rooms which at first appear to be empty and unremarkable. Upon closer inspection, however, they slowly reveal a rich tapestry of traces and associations — frayed and discoloured carpet tiles, stained walls, makeshift partitions, and disturbed dust and detritus all speak of previous occupation by unknown inhabitants.

Accompanying these works, the artist will construct a series of large-scale installations that intersect the gallery space in different ways to create bespoke environments from which to consider each image. With every step taken through these installations, a viewer becomes aware of their own body moving towards the photograph in order to view it, and the experience of looking at the artwork is intensified in a multi-sensory way by the colours, textures, objects and sounds that McIntyre has chosen to surround the image with.

Recently, McIntyre has become increasingly engaged in collaborative and cross-disciplinary practice, in particular as the founder of the electronic record label TONN recordings, and this exhibition at DCA will also debut a new suite of modular synth compositions by Sean McBride of Martial Canterel made in response to the artist’s photographs. This musical element of the project will be audible in the gallery at different times of the day, further enriching the experience of moving through the exhibition and engaging with McIntyre’s new work.

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