Ciara McMahon: Liminality

Friday 4 February – Saturday 12 February 2011
Ciara McMahon | Ciara McMahon: Liminality | Friday 4 February – Saturday 12 February 2011 | NCAD Gallery

Liminality uses the metaphor of heart / lung transplantation to juxtapose a waiting experience with a series of discursive events exploring subjectivity and intersubjectivity.

Deploying the experience of waiting and transplanting it to the gallery environment, the project looks for a creative tension between a waiting subject – dependent on others to release them from a form of confinement – and that of the seeking subject – actively looking for answers through theory. Liminality invites gallery goers to inhabit the role of a (hospital) visitor and / or to conditionally donate their physical presence, their self, to the project. Liminality will be accompanied by a commissioned essay by Tina Kinsella, edited by Emma Dwyer, Available on the opening night.

Viewers are invited to participate in the project by taking part in the discursive seminars or by stepping into the artist’s shoes as part of the installation, thus creating a flawed simulacrum of a donation process. No appointments are necessary to take part and further schedule information for seminars during Liminality can be found at or at

Schedule for seminars during Liminality Project,NCAD

Saturday 5th : 2pm- 3pm: Infinite distraction: the erosion of attention in everyday life. Dr.Aislinn O’Donnell will open a dialogue about the role of attention. Is attention to something or to someone becoming increasingly difficult to sustain? Rather than offer a neuroscientific account, I look to the work of Bernard Stiegler and Simone Weil to examine the relation between attention and education. I then ask what, if any, is the relation between phenomenological experiences of paying attention and of waiting.

Monday 7th: 6pm – 7.30pm: The Body as a Liminal Site. A Film Screening of ITU (2007) and Panel Discussion between artists John Wynne and Tim Wainwright and Francis Halsall in the Harry Clarke lecture theatre, NCAD. Photographer Tim Wainwright and sound artist John Wynne spent a year as artists-in-residence at the Royal Brompton & Harefield. ITU (2007), shot in the intensive treatment unit of the hospitals heart / lung transplant unit, resulted from that residency and collaboration. Seating for this event is limited so it is advisable to come early. There is to be no prior booking. Places allocated on first come first served basis.

Tuesday 8th 10.30 – 12.30 Infinite distraction: the erosion of attention in everyday life. Tina Kinsell in this seminar will review the ethico-aesthetic writings of Nancy and the art practice and theoretical writings of Ettinger in order to explore the notion that the “body” and the “artwork” are potentially ethico-aesthetic sites at which the conundrum of personal identity can be investigated.

Wednesday 9th Time to be confirmed. Screenings : Transplant (2008) John Wynne and Tim Wainwright and I used to say it was gold, but really it’s a platinum one, Platinum (2011) Ciara McMahon and Living Gift Transplant Support Group.

Friday 11th : 11am- 1pm Joint seminar by GradCam seminar groups: Dead Public and Dead Public and Undead: alternatives and alterity. Resourced by Dr. Mick Wilson, Dr. Syliva Loeffler and Edia Connole.

Saturday 12th : 2pm – 3.30pm. Artist in conversation with Fiona Loughnane / Tina Kinsella /Dr. Silivia Loeffler.

Liminality is funded by the Arts Council through the artist in the community scheme, managed by Create, the National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts.

Ciara McMahon trained and practices both fine art and medicine. She recently graduated from NCAD with a masters from the Art in the Contemporary World (combined pathway) program. McMahon received a first in Fine Art Practice and Art History from NCAD in 2009. Her art work is frequently collaborative and performative, realized through digital media and site specific installation. In 2010 McMahon was awarded funding from the Arts Council via the artist in the community scheme, managed by Create the National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts; a bursary to attend the Theory and Philosophy Summer School, Cork and a capital grant from Dun Laoghaire County Council. Her work is in the collection of the OPW. McMahon is due to sit on the editorial panel of the forthcoming Arts and Health website funded by the ArtsCouncil. Selected exhibitions include: Chimeric Agonism, Broadstone Studios; Preface, Pallace Heights; The Leaky-Self Café Event, Dublin, TULCA, Galway; Détruis Space, The Joinery; Moving Media Exhibition, RUA Red; My Space, Breaking Ground, Limerick City Museum. Future exhibitions include Mutual : Esteem, Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery, Live8, Galway.

Image: Ciara McMahon
Friday 4 February – Saturday 12 February 2011
NCAD Gallery
100 Thomas Street
Dublin 8
Telephone: +353 1 6364200
Opening hours / start times:
1pm - 5pm, Monday – Friday
Admission / price: Free

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