August 26th–October 9th, 2021
MAB is pleased to present SHARPLESS, MARGARET, an installation of new work by Heather Sheehan. In an uncanny premonition of events to come, Sheehan stepped back one hundred years in time, engaging directly with the spirits of the former Milton National Bank in Milton, PA. From 2019-2020, Sheehan loaned her body to the fictitious role of a spinster bookkeeper named Margaret Sharpless, a survivor of the Great War and the Spanish Flu with more than a few secrets laced into her corset. Dressed in period costume of her own making, Sheehan shut herself up in the bank with an old film camera to reveal this archetypical woman’s life.
In Sheehan’s exhibition at MAB, we are now called to witness the story of Margaret Sharpless. Sheehan engages multiple visual narratives to reveal Margaret’s life: a projected sequence of photographic images looms large on the south wall; remnants of Margaret’s work and private life are arranged around the main floor; a mysterious video showing Margaret’s flight of fancy, titled “This Bird Has Flown”, hovers on the balcony; and tucked discretely into a corner is a monitor displaying Margaret in action. Weighing the evidence of these equivocal tellings to pass judgement on the life of this woman we may find ourselves reflecting on our own life. As Sheehan writes: “Hers is a story you may already know, but I fear that you need to hear it again.”
Heather Sheehan is an American artists who lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Her works combine elements of sculpture, installation, and black and white photography with text in order to explore complex individual mythologies. More information can be found at www.heathersheehan.com