Jenny Keane

2 – 10 March 2012

This exhibition is Keane’s first solo show in Northern Ireland and is the final exhibition for her practice-based PhD from the University of Ulster.

Jenny Keane’s practice is focused on the word ‘horrific’. Visually, her work deals with society’s fascination with horror films – rather than being a fan, Keane’s interest in horror stems from its negative representation of the monstrous female body, and subversion of these depictions. Through video installation and performative drawings, the work explores the self-portrait in an attempt to investigate the dichotomy between fear and desire, its relationship to language and connection to the (female) body. Keane’s practice focuses on concepts of abjection and liminality alongside the idea of compulsive repetition, culminating in a pause or loop that subverts the constructions of narrative.

Through video installation, Abluō explores the issues of cleansing, and purification – the word ‘abluō’ is Latin, meaning to wash away, and its English derivative ‘ablution’ has connotations of ritualistic and shamanic cleansing. Yet, Abluō’s most interesting figurative context means ‘I remove darkness.’ Connecting to Keane’s PhD research, the exhibition explores the horror film’s use of the bathroom, which embodies the cultural taboo of abject dirt and the taming of monstrous sexuality.