For her exhibition at MOCA, Shelagh Keeley combines a series of tarp paintings from 1986, a large-scale film projection from 2016, and a new ephemeral wall drawing that she will create on-site over the course of several weeks in January 2020. All three bodies of work are extensions of a conceptual process in which the artist weaves together the past, present, and future.
The tarp paintings are shown on the floor and wall, grounding decades of Keeley’s practice within the frame of a particular gallery space. In her new wall drawing, Keeley interweaves photographic traces of the building pre-renovation, creating a poetic and gestural response to the history of the site.
Inviting us to bear witness to systems of production and hidden structures of power, her three-hour film essay Jardim do Ultramar / The Colonial Garden gradually reveals buried layers of history and colonial rule in Portugal. Keeley’s camera explores the buried social and political history of the garden bringing it forward to the present. The film is evidence of a past that will no longer lapse into silence and invisibility.