2018 SEPTEMBER EXHIBIT
Scott McMahon grew up in Connecticut and now resides in Columbia, Missouri where he is an Associate Professor of Art at Columbia College. He received his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston and his BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His work has been featured in numerous galleries, museums, and publications worldwide. A returning artist on the Sager Braudis Gallery roster, McMahon brings a new series that explores the complexity of how moments in time can be retrieved, reimagined, and remixed. During a recent, month-long residency in upstate New York, McMahon explored spaces and structures in an area that became the birthplace of Spiritualism in the United States starting in the late 1840’s. Using a portable camera obscura, various pinhole cameras, scans of detritus, and layers of wax, McMahon creates an amalgam of imagery and texture. Such aesthetic etherealities point to familiar moments and possible narratives, while harkening back to a mystifying and ambiguous past.
Observing veiled and cloudy projections through a portable camera obscura, Scott McMahon started this series as daily visual exercises. He found a connection to these otherwise disparate subjects through their quiet and ephemeral qualities; they appeared to be concurrently absent and present and yearning to tell some kind of story. As McMahon began photograph- ing the projections he gained interest in the photograph’s ability to distill many images within a single frame, long exposures, movement, and subtle traces of objects passing before the camera or interrupting the projection. Certain details and elements may point to the periphery for the viewer to pause and connect with a potential narrative, while various shapes, forms and shifts in perspective provide a level of ambiguity. He sees these eeting forms as one might see the last dissipating images received on the retina, an image that cannot be retrieved, but only partially reconstructed by memory.