Category Archives: Curating

Romuald Hazoumè

Irish Museum of Modern Art

 February 9 –  May 15, 2011

An exhibition of the work of Romuald Hazoumè, one of Africa’s most acclaimed and original artists, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 9 February 2011. Winner of the prestigious Arnold-Bode Prize at documenta 12 in 2007, Hazoumè was born and continues to live in the Republic of Benin and his work is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of West Africa. His practice also constitutes a powerful commentary on modern-day life in the area and on the West’s outdated perceptions of Africa. The exhibition is the first solo show dedicated to an African artist at IMMA and continues a strand of programming presenting artists from the periphery, whose socially engaged work documents a moment in time in a particular cultural milieu.

Romuald Hazoumè focuses primarily on the artist’s iconic sculptures made from discarded plastic canisters. Ubiquitous in Benin for transporting black-market petrol (known as kpayo) from Nigeria, these jerry cans are expanded over flames to increase their fuel-carry capacity, sometimes to excess resulting in fatal explosions. Hazoumè fashions the cans and other found objects into a series of masks or portraits of everyday African people, from Citoyenne (1997), a broad-faced woman with African-style plaits, to Java Junkie (2003), a relaxed character with long flowing locks. The masks also call to mind Western perceptions of primitivism, as seen in the use of similar motifs in the works of Picasso and Braque in the early 20th century.

Another work formed from jerry cans, MIP – Made in Porto Novo (2009), comprises a quartet of jazz instruments with their own unique accompaniment. This is made up of revving motorbikes, splashing liquid and other noises recorded by the artist over a day spent with his fellow countrymen, the so-called kpayo army, who transport the illegal fuel. These and other works all highlight the presence of multi-national oil companies in West Africa where natural resources are exploited with little benefit to the local communities, a form of neo-colonialism that Hazoumè equates with an unending form of slavery.

Slavery is also one of the themes at the heart of the panoramic photograph, And From There They Leave (2006) in which we see a group of boys with their canoe on an idyllic beach. The subtext is that this is the area from which slave ships set sail in vast numbers from the late 15th to the early 19th centuries. Today Benin is still a country where economic circumstances force people to leave their homeland, continuing a long history of poverty and exploitation for most of its citizens.

The four paintings in the exhibition are also integral to Hazoumè’s practice and again bring together the traditional and the modern. Acrylic paints are used to delineate the foreground from the background, echoing an old West-African mural technique which employed ochre and cow dung to achieve the same effect. In addition, the symbols used relate to Ifá, an ancient literary, divinatory and philosophical system used by the Yoruba people, the tribe to which Hazoumè belongs.

Romuald Hazoumè was born in 1962 in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin. His work has won widespread critical acclaim and has been shown widely internationally over the past 20 years. His major installation, La Bouche du Roi, a re-creation of a slave ship made from petrol canisters, was shown at the British Museum, London, in 2007 to commemorate the bi-centenary of the British Parliament’s abolition of the slave trade. The work was also shown at the Menil Collection, Houston, and the Musée Quai Branly, Paris. He participated in 100% Afrique at the Guggenheim Bilbao in 2006-07 and in Uncomfortable Truths, which addressed the ways in which the legacy of slavery informs contemporary art and design, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, in 2007, again organised to mark the abolition of the British slave trade.

 

Luke Fowler: Pilgrimage from Scattered Points

 Temple Bar Gallery & Studio’s

February 19 – March 26, 2011

Pilgrimmage from Scatterdpoints
Pilgrimmage from Scatterdpoints

Luke Fowler Pilgrimage from Scattered Points a film about the English composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) and The Scratch Orchestra (1968-1973). Luke Fowler’s films are informed by his research on socially radical figures such as psychologist Ronald D. Laing, musician Xentos ‘Fray Bentos’ Jones and the conservationist Bogman Palmjaguar; they push the boundaries in terms of how we construct or perceive contemporary society. Fowler’s films employ the conventions of documentary film making through the use of archival footage, interviews, still photography, voice-overs and soundscape. This film highlights Fowler’s interest in the nature of collaboration and its possibilities. This is prevalent throughout his work not only in the figures that he researches but in his capacity as a film maker, artist, musician, historian and organiser.

Pilgrimage from Scattered Points documents a pinnacle in British and European history which saw the rise of anti-establishment organisations, the 1968 student protests, the anti-war movement; the Scratch Orchestra was part of that moment and the film moves through archival footage, interviews and predominantly unreleased music to relays the struggles and conflicts of that period. Cornelius Cardew, Michael Parsons and Howard Skempton founded the Scratch Orchestra in 1968; they published their manifesto in The Musical Times in June 1969. The establishment of this orchestra was a reaction against musical conservatism and the avant-garde establishment. The concerts were social experiments, in that they were designed by the members in rotation and based on a non-hierarchical system where all participants; musicians, non-musicians and composers had equal status. The only full length recording of The Scratch Orchestra available is a performance of Cardew’s The Great Learning (1968–1970), a six hour choral work written for the Orchestra based on the Confucian scriptures. The work called for a large number of trained and untrained musicians to sing, speak, drum, perform actions and gestures, improvise and use conventional and unconventional sound sources.

Pilgrimage from scattered points, installation view
Pilgrimage from scattered points, installation view

This utopian ideology of creating a musical equivalent to a classless society was the basis of The Scratch Orchestra which is poignant, as in the last thirty years socio-economic inequalities have become far greater. Pilgrimage from Scattered Points explores the possibilities, complexities and divisive nature of political idealism while also calling into question the role of art within society.

website image workshop

 

 

Here & There

Oonagh Young gallery, Dublin / Wallace Gallery, New York

September, 15 – October, 10, 2010

Esra Ersen, Katia Kameli, Maya Schweizer

Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin
Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin

Here & There is an exhibition co curated by Mary Cremin and Catherine Bernard featuring three artists Esra Ersen, Katia Kameli and Maya Schweizer whose video works explore the themes of immigration, displacement and the space between cultures. Their video works question the very notion of belonging to a specific culture.

The artists in Here and There discuss the passage from one culture to another and explore the space born from their intersection. They also question the concepts of borders, national identity and cultural heritage by reflecting upon the notions of displacement, exile and its implications. The immediacy of the medium, the documentary component and the integration of time and movement, all characteristics of video, generate a particularly pertinent frame to articulate these themes.

As migration became a central dynamic in the history of post WWII societies, immigrants were the agents of profound social changes and pioneered the creation of transnational identities. They also faced rejection, suspicion and invisibility, as they became parts of the workforce and of the cultural landscape of their host societies. Since then, economic globalization, the expansion of transnational corporations, the broader and faster communication systems, and more recently climatic changes and political crisis are fostering even larger movements of populations, from South to North and East to West. The consequences: resistance, hybridization, clashes or integration process are all part of a transformative dynamic that helps reshape and redefine our socio-cultural space while bringing into it a pluricultural dimension.

Wallace Gallery, New York
Wallace Gallery, New York

Esra Ersen, Katia Kameli, Maya Schweizer interpret and contextualize these issues in light of their distinct experience and diverse backgrounds and speak up about their implications and relevance for contemporary societies.

 

 

 

Carlos Garaicoa: Overlapping

Irish Museum of Modern Art 

June 10 –  September 5, 2010

Carlos Garaicoa, Installation
Carlos Garaicoa, Installation

An exhibition by one of Cuba’s leading contemporary artists Carlos Garaicoa, whose work explores the social fabric of our cities through the examination of its architecture, . Carlos Garaicoa brings together new and recent works comprising sculpture, installation, drawing, video and photography, which explore the themes of architecture and urbanism, politics and history, and narrative and human culture. Since the early 1990s Garaicoa has developed his multi-faceted practice as a means to critique modernist utopian architecture and the collapse of 20th-century ideologies using the city as his point of departure. Adopting the city of Havana as his laboratory, his works are charged with provocative commentaries on issues such as architecture’s ability to alter the course of history, the failure of modernism as a catalyst for social change and the frustration and decay of 20th-century utopias.

My Private Obsessions, 2009 Intallation
My Private Obsessions, 2009
Intallation

Garaicoa spends time exploring cities to discover their true meaning, he often illustrates his vision in large installations using various materials such as crystal, wax candles and rice-paper lamps. In No Way Out, 2002, a city at night is constructed through various scales of illuminated rice-paper lamps, while the materials in this work reference Japan, the uniformity of the city landscape alludes to a universal situation common to all cities worldwide. In The Crown Jewels, 2009, miniature replicas of real-life torture centres, prisons and intelligence networks are cast in silver and in Bend City (Red), 2007, a city is constructed entirely from cut cardboard.

Havana, the extraordinary city where he grew up, is a particular source of inspiration for Garaicoa’s work and it is from this city’s complicated development that his preoccupation with the detritus of the cityscape developed. After the Cuban revolution in 1959, many architectural projects and buildings were left unfinished or abandoned, in Havana and in other Cuban cities. This juxtaposition of architectural projects halted and abandoned, and the buildings of the colonial period, create a narrative of a complex political history that scars the landscape. Garaicoa refers to these as ‘ruins of the future, where ruins are proclaimed before they even get to exist’. Garaicoa addresses these collapsed buildings in his black-and-white photographs by pairing them with a second image that reconstructs the missing parts with coloured threads and pins. By illustrating the absence of these once-great structures, Garaicoa emphasises the reality of these failed utopias. His interest in urban ruins has expanded from the cities of Cuba to cities around the world from LA to Paris to Moscow.

Garaicoa directly references iconic texts and writers through the titles of his pieces as well as within the sculptural works themselves, particularly the concept of the city as a symbolic space as it appears in the work of the writers Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino. In On how my brazilian library feeds itself with fragments of a concrete reality, 2008, publications on Brazilian architecture, landscape and culture are stacked in rows interspersed with cement blocks. The front of the sculpture reveals the books spines while the back shows a number of bullets inserted into the cement. In her essay for the catalogue Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy describes this work “As if it has been attacked, the sculpture sets in motion ideas of urban development and the weight and the wounds of progress”. The use of books is repeated in the works My personal Library Grows-up Together with My Political Principles, 2008, where architectural publications are assembled to form the framework of a city landscape and Monsieur Haussmann, la perfection n’existe pas, 2009, where a stack of copies of the book Paris-Haussmann are placed on a plinth with the exposed paper at the base of the books inscribed with the plan of Place de l’Etoile in Paris. Baron Haussmann was famous for his creation of modern Paris, with its boulevards and grand vistas designed for the bourgeoisie of Paris representing his ideal utopian city, but not necessarily the reality.

The Crown Jewels, 2009 Installation
The Crown Jewels, 2009
Installation

Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1967, Carlos Garaicoa trained initially as a thermodynamics engineer before his mandatory military service. While in the army he worked as a draughtsman, learning the skills the he would use later in his practice as an artist. He attended the Havana Instituto Superior de Arte in Cuba from 1989 to 1994. Garaicoa has exhibited extensively around the world, recent exhibitions include the Venice Biennale, 2009; Havana Biennale, 2009; La Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, 2008; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 2007; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 2006, and Documenta II, Kassel, 2002. He lives and works in Havana and Madrid.

Francis Alÿs: le Temps du Sommeil

Irish Museum of Modern Art

February 26 – May 23, 2010

le temps du sommeil, installation view
le temps du sommeil, installation view

The  exhibition comprising a series of 111 small-scale paintings by the Belgian-born artist Francis Alÿs, one of the most original artists working today. Francis Alÿs: Le temps du sommeil has been described as a storyboard or archive of Alÿs’s highly imaginative oeuvre, much of which takes as its starting point simple actions performed by the artist and documented in photographs, film or by other means such as postcards. These actions, involving strange objects and fruitless exercises, frequently suggest the dreamlike state of the exhibition’s title, which could translate as “sleep time”. They are also incorporated into the exhibition in the form of accompanying texts, many derived from the artist’s postcards.

Le temps du sommeil was begun in 1995 and continues today as an ongoing body of work. The technique is consistent throughout. The figures or other images in the paintings begin as drawings on tracing paper, which are then transferred onto a miniature oval landscape with golden green grass and a darkened, olive green sky. In each case this scene is surrounded by a rich Venetian red ground, built up in layers with the whole measuring no more than 11.5 by 15 cms. Alÿs compares the oval with the veduta of early Italian Renaissance paintings, a special distant scene inserted into a larger landscape. Each painting is dated with a rubber stamp, underlining the narrative aspect of the series and providing a kind of diary of the artist’s fantasies and obsessions.

Several of the paintings have an obvious connection with Alÿs’s recorded actions. The man walking along carrying a leaking can of paint, echoes the artist’s 1995 action The Leak, in which he roamed the streets of Ghent with a punctured paint can leaving a trail back to the gallery, where he mounted the empty can on the wall. Another painting calls to mind Alÿs’s epic 2002 project, When Faith Moves Mountains, which took place near the Peruvian capital Lima. This involved 500 volunteers who, armed only with shovels, moved a 1,600-foot sand dune just four inches from its original location. The change in the landscape was minute, but Alÿs ‘s concern was with its relationship to the prevailing social and political situation at once “futile and heroic, absurd and urgent”.

le temps du sommeil, installation view
le temps du sommeil, installation view

In 2004 the artist described the place of painting in his work: “What justifies my recourse to painting is that it’s the shortest way – or the only way – to translate certain scenarios or situations that cannot be said, that cannot be filmed or performed. It’s about entering a situation that could not exist elsewhere, only on the paper or canvas. They are images, and I want for them to live as such. Like in a children’s book.” In June of this year the series will travel to Tate Modern, London, as part of a retrospective of Alÿs’s key works, which will also be shown at Wiels, Brussels, and at MoMA, New York.

le temps du sommeil, installation view
le temps du sommeil, installation view

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1959, Francis Alÿs studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium and at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice. Since 1986 he has made his home in Mexico and has been particularly associated with Mexico City’s historic centre where his studio is located. His work has been extensively shown worldwide, recent exhibitions include in 2009 – Shanghai Art Museum; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; in 2008 – KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, and Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. As Alÿs’s international reputation has grown many of his projects have taken place at the invitation of museums, for example, The Modern Procession, created in 2002, to mark the temprorary move of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, from Manhattan to Queens.

Dawning of an aspect

Green On Red Gallery 

July 8 – August 15,2009

Dawning of an aspect

Niall De Buitléar, Damien Flood, Laura Lancaster, Sonia Shiel

Frontier, installation view
Frontier, installation view

Dawning of An Aspect, an exhibition of four artists whose work offers an exploration of our capacity for perception through painting and sculpture. ‘Dawning of an aspect’ is taken from both Wittgenstein’s and Wollheim’s philosophical writings on the fundamental distinction between our perception and plain seeing. While the writings on this subject are based on painting, in this exhibition it is also applied to sculptural objects that reveal themselves through the act of looking. This twofold nature of our perception involves both the surface and subject simultaneously.

Frontier, installation view
Frontier, installation view

Wittgenstein’s aim was to dissolve the paradoxical appearance of aspect-dawning: when looking at a picture-object we can come to see it differently, although we also see that the picture-object itself remains unchanged. Wollheim’s writings view the expressiveness of depiction through psychoanalytic concept of projection in which we come to see a piece of the external world as corresponding to an inward state of mind which he referred to as the internal spectator.

Frontier, installation view
Frontier, installation view

The experience of seeing resemblances within the pictorial representation is an essential aspect of this idea. 
 
Niall De Buitléar’s use of found objects and re-presenting them as sculptural forms, play with both the history of the found objects and the potentiality to mutate into abstract sculptural forms. It is the recognizable element in the works that reveals the transformation from the everyday to sculptural object. 

Damien Flood’s paintings occupy a space between fact and fiction. His work, while primarily landscape in line with the traditional notion of painting reveals a world of discovery and illusion. 

Laura Lancaster’s paintings reveal an element of nostalgia; the figures emerge from the blurred landscape, depicting a moment within a narrative structure that is part of a larger schema. 

Sonia Shiel’s work commandeers miscellaneous everyday materials to build literal fabrications of ‘lofty’ notions. Her shambolic constructions simultaneously rouse and abandon ceremony, pomp and ego. They merge video, sculpture and paintings to expose subjects associated with the world’s make –up and by revealing their own, assume the subject of creativity itself.

Arise! ye starvelings…

Pallas Contemporary Projects

September 9 – October 10, 2008

Arise! ye starvelings…

Declan Clarke, Stephen Gunning, Nicolas Milhé, Diango Hernández

Arise! ye starvelings… installation view
Arise! ye starvelings…
installation view

Arise! ye starvelings… is the opening line of the rallying song the Internationale, the anthem used as an expression of allegiance to revolutionary ideals. The appropriation and re-contextualising of revolutionary and political imagery and ideas is a tactic used by artists to comment on the present geopolitical climate, creating a link between the past and the present. The combination of politics and art together investigate the undercurrents of globalization, and the fault lines opening up in the present. Each of the artists has an aesthetic framework while at the same time containing a political dimension. Their practices traverse the political through the adopting of historical symbols and language associated with revolutionary sentiments. The potentiality of their practices is to unfold the global obliquely, adapting that which is suppressed to developed imagery and discourse.

Arise! ye starvelings… installation view
Arise! ye starvelings…
installation view

Declan Clarke’s video work Red Moon engages with our encoded history, which he traces through historical events and the iconography of monuments and architecture. The degradation of the Soviet Union as a super power and its demise as a site of revolutionary thought is reflected in the city’s contemporary landscape through its fading monuments and structures. Nicolas Milhé’s Sans Titre (projection mercator) subverts the standard map. Devoid of any geographical landscape, the artist reflects on the contentious issues of territory and geography, allowing for alternative reading of both our history and our future. Diango Hernández’s Blender features a normal household appliance, but for Hernández it has a strong symbolic meaning: the blender mixes, pulverizes and ‘uniformizes’. The blender is displayed on a naked brick ‘stage’, a deconstructed wall, the unity is gone, and the connection is unstable and vulnerable. The checked shirt is a code to the Cubans: employees of the Department of the Interior or the secret police wore checked shirts. It was a kind of uniform. Now they just lie next to the objects, they are ‘off-duty’, the working day is over.

Arise! ye starvelings… installation view
Arise! ye starvelings…
installation view

Stephen Gunning’s dual projection Killing time Amsterdam Penitentiary documents the inmates of a high-rise prison. Foucault spoke about prisons as the Panopticon, the ultimate realization of a modern disciplinary institution. Its structure allowed for constant observation characterized by an “unequal gaze”; the constant possibility of observation. He compared this carceral system to our schools, factories and institutions. Gunning’s piece is disconcerting as the viewer can take on the position of power, observing the behaviour of the inmates.

These works seek to reconnect culture to its political base, representing a strand of resistance in the absence of social revolution. They call into question established notions of society and how the present transforms its past.

Blender
Diango Hernández, Blender
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Arise! ye starvelings, installation view

‘In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it’ – Walter Benjamin

Sonic Youth

Green On Red Gallery , Dublin / Wallace Gallery, New York

June 27 – July 26, 2008

 SONIC YOUTH 

Ben Kinsley, Yvonne Buccheim, David Blandy, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Johanna Billing, Kate Murphy, William Hunt

Wallace Gallery, Sonic Youth installation
Wallace Gallery, Sonic Youth installation

 SONIC YOUTH an exhibition of 7 international video artists whose work offers an extensive and in-depth exploration of the various possibilities of the crossover between popular culture and video art. The pieces navigate a variety of sources including the history of film, iconography and a wide range of references to popular culture. The works play with global codes and canonized images that are integral to the collective memory.

Documentary itemization, self-questioning and cultural sampling are videographic practices which the artists use to react to the construction of the everyday. An interest and participation in popular culture especially music represents an important component of their oeuvre.

Ben Kinsley’s GESICHTSMUSIK is a musical self-portrait. All the sounds were produced with his voice and body, and through meticulous editing and layering, an audio-visual composition was created. Yvonne Buccheim, Herder’s Legacy presents amateur singers from 5 different countries (Germany, France, Ireland, UK and USA) in front of a white background eliminating all visual indication of the place of recording. This audio-visual creation inspired by Herder’s song collection from 1773 becomes an open field of research into the visibility of cultural identity within songs. David Blandy uses video, performance and comics to address how identity is constructed.  Blandy’s piece The White and Black Minstrel Show, using the character of the White and Black Minstrel (an inverted Black and White Minstrel) to do “live” lip-syncing to songs like “I’m Black and I’m Proud” and “Is it because I’m black?”. This clownish figure, with a “whited-up” face, has come to embody Blandy’s cultural confusion in this post-colonial world. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s film project File under Sacred Music takes as its starting point an infamous video that documents a live performance by The Cramps for the patients at Napa Mental Institute, California, on 13th June 1978. Forsyth and Pollard began by re-enacting that legendary performance in order to film and remake the rarely seen video document. They consulted closely with a number of mental health arts organisations, before inviting members from Core Arts, Sound Minds and Mad Pride to attend the performance and filming, which was staged on a specially constructed set in the Institute of Contemporary Arts Theatre in London on 3rd March 2003.

Johanna Billing’s, still from  Magical World
Johanna Billing’s, still from Magical World

Johanna Billing’s Magical World is a collaboration made with a group of children from a cultural centre outside Zagreb, Croatia. The direct subject is the children’s rehearsal of a song originally written by the black American singer Sidney Barnes in 1968. ‘The song called Magical World, speaks of personal transformation with both pride and melancholy, conflicting emotions that coexist here, as often in life. This reference to transformation gives a clue to a possible metaphoric reading of the work, filmed as it is in a relatively young country that is trying to conform to European Union demands while establishing its own fragile national identity’. (Charles Esche)

Kate Murphy, film still Britney Love
Kate Murphy, film still Britney Love

Kate Murphy’s narrative style in her documentary pieces Britney Love highlights an 11 year olds aspiration for her future as a celebrity. In her second piece, she revisits her at the age of 18 where she talks about her motivations and aims. William Hunt’s Even As You See Me Now employs video as a means of not only documenting but investigating and testing his own physical and psychological limits as he performs.

 

Sonic Youth

Frontier

Green On Red Gallery

March 15 – April 12, 2008

Frontier

Niamh McCann, Gavin Murphy & Marcos Rosales

Frontier, installation view
Frontier, installation view

“Our time demands the anti-masterpiece.  Things that are cobbled together, pushed and prodded into a state of suspended animation feel right.  Stubby, brutish forms that know something of the world in which they are made tell the contemporary story.”

“Not about Mel Gibson” Richard Flood in Unmonumental:The Object in the 21st Century

Green On Red Gallery is proud to announce the first in a series of group exhibitions in 2008 that examine aspects of contemporary art practice in Ireland and further afield.  Niamh McCann ( Irl.), Gavin Murphy ( Irl. ) and Marcos Rosales ( USA ) make up the first exhibition called Frontier.  All three young artists show work using a mixture of drawing, text and sculptural installation in a variety of materials ranging from synthetic fabric to recycled tin, fluorescent light and cast resin.  All three exhibit work in the Green On Red Gallery for the first time.

What is striking in the practice of these three artists is the cross-referential nature of all their work.  Individual works do not point to a single subject or concept but seem to draw from multiple sources and times to arrive at what is more a point of departure rather than an endpoint or conclusion.  This is as true of Niamh McCann’s sculptural work as it is of her mixed media on paper.  In Splice ( 1 ), the promotional image for the exhibition, the original, low-grade, found newspaper has been re-cycled and reconstituted.  Parts of the original ‘text’ – including imagery – survive the alteration but become part of a more ambiguous, complex repository of ideas and narratives.  The use of acrylic paint is transparently thin allowing the various layers or systems/signs to infiltrate/negotiate each other.  As the title suggests, different messages, different time periods, different forms of communication are spliced together/interwoven creating space for reflection.  One dominant narrative/system doesn’t exist.  The context is the key to the text.

Frontier, installation view
Frontier, installation view

 

A similar inter-textuality exists in the work of Gavin Murphy.  Murphy uses bodies of ( past ) knowledge to direct the mind to consider monumental subjects.  Mortality, the nature of existence, the incomprehensibility of the passing of time are at the centre of his art.  Typical of his work are sculptural assemblages or ‘Light/Heavy Monuments’ like the one made from recycled coffee bags in Frontier.  Word signs and a light bulb hover like a makeshift lightbox above the silver and gold pyramid.  The artist does not distinguish between the suggestive power of the forms/signs he generates and the use of single, floating words to operate as a platform for further philosophical investigation.

These occupations, come from a very personal fear, yet Murphy translates these fears into the universal, turning to an enlightenment understanding of the objective observer as a metaphor for the isolation of the soul who wishes to step out of time.

Frontier, installation view
Frontier, installation view

The work of Marcos Rosales ( born Waco, Texas ) comes from a very personal origin tied in with his adoption as a child.  Identity as a quest is something, however, that all of us negotiate whether it’s on a philosophical or emotional level or just going through passport control.  His stream-of-consciousness writings, entitled The Demons of Diversity, link in with his almost almost automatic ink drawings connect to his free-form, kinky, black macramé suspended sculptures.  Cryptic message and double-entendre abound in an unsettling and intense prod at the viewer.