“Spilling, spitting is a recurrent concept in our thought. Images ripple our minds such as a bathtub in an earthquake; a swathe of fabrics off a balcony, strewn upon the translucent lower canopy of a new building; some titanic sequence that “everyone” is party to. The darker mark seeps as bed wetting, one side of the springy mattress, discharge. Spilling and spitting are forms of expulsion that are both incidental and violent. Sneezing is like spitting, to find the goob on the wall a few days later, caked over. Not a stain exactly, not like old blu-tack. Tender rip. Rear guard. Glass must be hot to stain, it is not water. And then the question of sediment. And then the question of whales. A shooting vertical breath. This ejaculation which is not one. Skin moves up and then down again, as if by design.” *
Tender rip is a collaborative project developed by Anna McMahon and Spence Messih which explores transformations of bodies by and with language, and the slippery processes of coding and classifying both. Asking what it means to wilfully occupy the site around inclusion and exclusion – ideas off absorption and proliferation, opacity and readability are surfaced. Taking the form of a site-specific installation, McMahon and Messih’s new bodies of sculpture additionally function as tools for containing readings from others, with works and words from Jos Charles, Brian Fuata, Real Madrid, Vincent Silk and Ainslie Templeton.
This exhibition was developed on the stolen Lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation (Sydney). We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and culture. Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded. Australia always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
With a focus on collaboration and interdisciplinary practice Anna McMahon works across site specific sculptural installation, video and performance to explore a personal queer narrative. She recently completed residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, and Studio Voltaire, London, 2017 and at Wysing Arts Centre, 2018. McMahon completed a mentorship with Camille Henrot during her Carte Blanche exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in 2017.
Through sculpture, installation, image and text Spence Messih speaks broadly to sites of pressure, power structures, materiality and language and more specifically about these things in relation to their own trans experience. Messih’s work centres on abstraction as a site to explore a trans materiality. They have recently exhibited at: Artspace, COMA, Firstdraft Gallery, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, and ACCA, Melbourne.
* Text by Vincent Silk and Ainslie Templeton