Art exhibition offers ‘intimate exploration’ of queer identity

One part of the Body, Bodies, Embodied exhibition at 126 Artist-Run Gallery

By Darragh Nolan

Held at 126 Artist-Run Gallery in St Bridget’s Place, the Body, Bodies, Embodied exhibition sees two LGBTQIA+ artists present deeply personal representations of “the queer self”.

The art exhibition features works by Dublin-based artists Day Magee and Dónal Talbot and offers “an intimate exploration” of queer identity through a range of mediums.

Body, Bodies, Embodied includes photography, poetry, a recorded video performance and even harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to create new art.

The artist harnessing AI

Co-curator of the exhibition Mary McGraw highlighted the wide range of artistic mediums used in Body, Bodies, Embodied.

“This exhibition has poetry, photography, video art, mixed media art, chalk on sandpaper. There was a performance one of the artists did on the opening day.

“Now there’s a performance element via video still in the exhibition. So, there’s just a lot of different spectrums and arrays of the expression of the body and an intimate look of the queer body.”

Mary said Day Magee’s use of AI for Body, Bodies, Embodied demonstrates how an artist can use images generated through AI as a tool for creating new art.

“The AI art is part of Day Magee’s full spectrum of work within the exhibition. They were really interested to see how AI would talk or generate images of queerness, of queer bodies and of LGBT actions and words.

“They were interested to see what would be generated. Then, they took hundreds and hundreds of AI generated images and graphics and put them together. So there was an AI element but then the artist had the final touch,” Mary said.

Some of the photography on display at the exhibition
Some of the photography on display at the exhibition.

Something for everyone

Mary’s fellow co-curator Méabh Noonan said that while the exhibition features very personal pieces from two queer artists, visitors from any background can take something away from Body, Bodies, Embodied.

“We’ve had a really good response from people. A lot of people coming in from a wide range of ages, lots of different people who have come in and really enjoyed the show,” Méabh said.

“They spoke really personally to me about it, which doesn’t always happen. I think people are reacting a lot stronger to this because it’s so personal.”

“They’re really intimate stories. Some of it is about sexuality and identity, but there’s also other things like grief and loss and pride. There’s something there that everyone can connect with.”

Body, Bodies, Embodied forms part of 126 Artist-Run Gallery’s 2023 Visual Arts Programme ‘Alchemical Vessels.’

The exhibition remains free and open to the public until 26 February.

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