Alison McNulty is a multidisciplinary artist whose work engages the fragile, entangled nature of our relationship to the material world through a practice rooted in spatial and material poetics. She excavates and examines ubiquitous traces to speculate on the constructs underlying how we make meaning, assign value, and participate in social and ecological systems. McNulty often works with ordinary, but ontologically specific, reclaimed materials like brick, dust, hair, spider webs, architectural remnants, bits of eraser, plants, and rocks. Through a processing of matter that allows materials to interpret each other and their contexts, McNulty seeks to access the ambiguity and agency of things, knowledge, environments, relationships, and bodies as a way to shift consciousness towards ways we might know ourselves and surroundings as vulnerable, reciprocal, and more than human.
McNulty’s projects emerge from an interdisciplinary research perspective and are informed by the natural sciences, ecology, archeology, poetics, theory, and philosophy. Animated by a deep sense of embodied attentiveness and curiosity toward the contexts she works within, she cultivates a collaborative attitude toward the human and non-human bodies and forces, entangled web of relations, and natural processes her work intersects through place and site. The ephemeral and contingent nature of her work is meant to exhibit an interrelated and evolving fragility, and to reveal and explore the ways we participate in larger material cycles and configurations through human and geological time.
McNulty’s work includes ephemeral and interactive sculpture, architectural interventions, installation, site-responsive indoor and outdoor projects, video, photography, writing, and works on paper using salvaged and organic materials, which she calls “Embodied Drawings”. McNulty presents her work in a range of contexts, including university and commercial galleries and museums, alternative venues, unique private commissions, and mixed-use or unsanctioned sites. She has participated in residencies at Stoneleaf Retreat, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and created House Project, a self-made residency in an abandoned house, formalized with its owner. She has had solo exhibitions at BAU Gallery, Beacon, NY and George’s Meet & Produce, Gainesville, FL. Selected group exhibitions include venues such as Art Lot in Brooklyn, The Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, NY, Theoretical Archeology Group Conference, Syracuse, NY, Dusklit Interactive Art Festival, Sugar Loaf, NY, Wilderstein 5th Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, Rhinebeck, NY, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, Collaborative Concepts Farm Project, Garrison, NY, Simultan Festival, Timisoara Romania, Des Lee Gallery St. Louis, and The Florida State Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL, among others. She is currently producing work for Ineligible, a project associated with the initiative Art/Archeologies, as well as Whiterock Center for Sculptural Arts Summer Invitational, Holmes, NY, and Highbrook Studios Sculpture Garden, Pelham, NY.
McNulty teaches at Parsons School of Design at The New School and the French-American School of New York. She has also taught at Whitman College, the University of Florida, and Brooklyn College. McNulty earned her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and received an Alumni Fellowship from the University of Florida, where she completed her MFA. McNulty is currently based in the Hudson Valley, NY.
The books mentioned in the interview are; Timothy Morton, Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People and Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds.