Niamh McCann’s solo exhibition Furtive Tears is embedded geographically and architecturally within its locality. Showing across three rooms in the Hugh Lane Gallery the Dublin based artist presents an eloquent series of skilfully crafted sculptures and film works alongside re-worked artefacts from the Hugh lane collection. Interweaving the perverse and imaginary with the political and the real, Furtive Tears is rich with reoccurring themes. The artists interest in both the German architect and scenographer Hans Polezig and two twentieth century Irish political figures, Sir Edward Carson and Jim Larkin may on paper intonate that the exhibition addresses a politic of the past. However Furtive Tears moves across and beyond any notion of time. McCann craftily mixes the hues of ideological historical and monumental gestures with a boldness that explores the perversity of the current political moment. In her filmwork Furtive Tears, Salomé’s Lament Carson and Larkins unmistakable gestures are depicted by the character Boris. Boris walks the grand marble rotunda in Belfast City hall wearing a tailored suit complimented with bright red high heels. We see Boris again, in a comedic Panda suit, surveying Belfast from the Ridge View of Black Mountain. Humor and tragedy intertwined, the video work is exquisite as is the accompanying original musical composition by David Coonan.


Gianno Tomasso