Megan Rooney is an enigmatic storyteller whose work expands across painting, performance, written and spoken word, sculpture and installation. The artist summons a cast of recurring characters that expand and contract across ephemeral incarnations—the self is not solid, nor are its narratives. Rooney’s references engage with materiality and the human subject and are deeply invested in the present moment: the festering chaos of politics with its myriad cruelties and the laden violence of our society, so resident in the home, in the female, in the body. Rooney creates site-specific installation, populated by figures and objects that lurk on the periphery of written and performed narratives. Environments are vacated and sinister, but also inviting and intimate, begging the question-who or what lives here? And when, or how, might they be reanimated? These recurring characters are neither reliable nor empathetic. For the viewer of the work, they hover somewhere between identification and critique, while also suggesting that each iteration of the artist’s work is merely a fragment of a larger whole, a gesamtkunstwerk that is ordered by no single framing mechanism. Rooney lives and works in London.
Park Nights is the Serpentine’s experimental, interdisciplinary live platform, programmed for the Galleries’ annual architectural commission, the Serpentine Pavilion.