PARAllAX: Greg McGee in Jim Poyner’s mima project
Philosopher Slavoj Žižek defined parallax as “the apparent displacement of an object (the shift of its position against a background), caused by a change in observational position that provides a new line of sight.”
PARAllAX was the tangential context in which the disparate practices of 2016’s AA2A Teesside University / mima artists-in-residence briefly converged.
Lucy Carolan’s work drew on the sculptural and material possibilities of the photograph as object. Sue Gough made paintings, prints and artist books, presently focused on the threat of fracking in North Yorkshire, where she lives. Alan Hathaway’s work explored the use of making as a thinking tool within the context of a ‘post utopian landscape’. Jim Poyner’s work interrogated public perception of art in terms of its relevance, use and accessibility. It was in Poyner’s work that Greg McGee appeared, providing a foreword to his findings on how Teesside’s wider public view the accessibility of their internationally well regarded art gallery. Poyner stated at the launch, “The mima venue is great, and I couldn’t have been happier with the assistance from the mima staff. We needed an expert’s vantage point, and you can’t get much better than Greg McGee.” Says Greg, ‘As a Teessider, I love visiting mima. It’s home, it’s real, it’s concrete, it’s steel. To be invited to wax lyrical about is an honour. The staff are a cracking team, and run a slick ship. I hope my thoughts help in some small way. If anyone’s going to get real, authentic descriptions from thick skinned Middlesbrough folk, Poyner’s the man for the job.”
GREG McGEE: mima’s USE, RELAVANCE & ACCESSIBILITY
“As a Middlesbrough man with an art gallery in York, mima has always been a must see on my return home. It’s opening in ’07 sent ripples throughout the north, and indeed beyond, and it provided a peg upon which the chatterarti could hang conversations: ‘at last, some cutting edge culture to reinvent Teesside!’, or, ‘It’s good to see the area recognised after all its industrial hard work’, or, less charitably, ‘A contemporary art gallery? In Middlesbrough? It’ll be petrol bombed within a month!’ Middlesbrough has for decades possessed the ability to inculcate fierce responses in its commentators, whether that’s in the field of football, its industry providing inspiration for Blade Runner, or even its position on leagues of towns you’d rather not live in, with supporters and detractors alike ready to stand their ground in a fugue of red mist.
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