All this Surface and Silence
All this Surface and Silence showcased comprised of new and revised works. The show culminated in a daily performance, a scenographic multi-media backdrop and a large-scale text piece. Through these works three different characters or voices are present in the exhibition, they all (in some shape or form) represent a vocational lifestyle choice – this fictional premise becomes an entry point to articulate and address broader tensions and pressures around performing within a contemporary Irish society.
The text piece entitled A Note to God (2017) is a 45 metre long text piece which in the show was installed as a sculptural frieze and was positioned at the picture hanging height, from this position it echoes the many historical and decorative aspects found in the South Georgian quarter where the RHA Gallery is located. The work is written from the perspective of a fictional (disillusioned) charachter named Carmel; a female Stuccodore who is looking for inspiration. The Stuccodore was a craftsman who rendered pictorial scenes in relief in Georgian buildings. The content of this note reflects on the slow demise of Catholicism in Ireland and as a result the transitioning state of Irish cultural identity. The highlighted words, reflect on the basic principles of keeping a faith.
Demo Material – Unsigned (2017) was manifested as a backing track in the space – the work of an unnamed musician who is the second character featuring in the show. The music sits within the post digital DIY culture and the more open economy that the contemporary musician can inhabit without professional representation. This music employs slack production values, the lyrics and content of the music further attempts to articulate and explore the vocational attributes of a creative pursuit. The songs are titled homogenise, a Fetid Space, Edge of Regret, ICONOCLASM, Hypocritical Soul and Crazy Suit – these titles are projected onto soundproof acoustic material.
The final character that featured in the show was incorporated into a live performance (performed daily) entitled Car Dealing, Making Art, (2017). This piece was scripted, cast and directed by Naomi Sex and featured Darina Gallagher. The performance relayed the story of the making of a mural for a busy car showroom in Dublin City during the 1990s economic boom. Entering the space a projection of images depicts the highly stylized mural as it now stands in the dilapidated car showroom. Please see review by Aidan Kelly Murphy appearing online Circa Magazine.