Saturday, August 20, 2011

Memento Mori


...is the name of the show myself and my sister Jennifer Walshe have up at the moment in the Roscommon Arts Centre. (Click on any image to see a bigger version.)

We decided to present it as a show curated by us, with work made by our alter egos, three each.
Mine are:
Nollaig Dottirson, a transgender Icelandic-Roscommon artist, who knits and felts violent artifacts - bombs, Molotov cocktails, security cameras and barbed wire.

"Nollaig's work is contextualised in her own transgendered and transnational experience (born in Reykjavik to Icelandic and Irish parents), wherein the sometimes violent renegotiation of her gender is metaphorised in her intimate, familiar and knitted appropriations of the iconography of war and aggression.

The project of feminising these icons challenges notions of masculinity and femininity, and explores violence both personal and political, from a sexually transgressive perspective."
...then comes An Snag Breac, an outsider artist living in Roscommon...

"An Snag Breac is Irish for the magpie, and represents the raiding and hoarding of unwanted objects, natural and artificial. It is the pseudonym of a Roscommon-based artist creating assemblages of phantasmagorical creatures from the discarded detritus of the natural and manufactured world.
Mixed media include textiles, wood, taxidermy using road kill animals and discarded objects. Plastic golems of flesh and bone, queer syntheses of steel, wood, skin and fleece, reflect on and recycle the workings of the inner world, both natural and psychological.

An Snag Breac’s ongoing experience of chronic pain (back and neck) underpins aspects of the biological and anatomical focus of her work, influencing her use of material – including a spine and acupuncture needles."

...and the embroidered advice handkerchiefs of textile artist Enda O'Rourke...

"Enda O’Rourke is a textile artist resident in the Boyle area. Enda’s work is a recreation and reflection of his personal history. Born in London to unmarried Irish parents, Enda was raised by his grandmother and aunts, learning to sew from an early age - the stitches and tradition dropped from grandmother to grandson. Enda’s work seeks to recreate the unspoken and lost libraries of his grandmother’s experience, in a tradition neither aural, nor written, but textile based, and in the voice his grandmother and the women who raised him bequeathed him."

Then we had Jenny's collection:

The Community Choir drawings from Turf Boon...

"Boon considers his Community Choir Drawings series an open-source composition, one in which the viewer is expected to be an active participant in decoding and assigning meaning.

The deployment of communal authorship in this project recalls for Boon the gift drawings and songs of the Shakers, drawings which were executed as depictions of heavenly inspirations or gifts. Gift drawings were not considered to be the work of an individual artist (the drawings were never signed), but a contribution to the whole community that could be employed as any member saw fit.

Boon’s Community Choir Drawings series is imbued with a similar sense of openness and generosity, which reflects his career-long engagement with the ethics of community and the importance of group spirit."


A film from Freya Birren...

Olia Lialina’s M.B.C.B.F.T.W. (Redux, At Rest)

"Russian artist Olia Lialina created her browser-based artwork My Boyfriend Came Back From The War in 1996. It is considered one of the first works of internet art, and tells the fragmented story of a woman and her boyfriend’s attempts to communicate and connect after he returns from fighting in a war.

Lialina’s work has been subject to many re-workings by different artists. Birren’s version takes Lialina’s as a starting point in both visual and textual terms. Here, however, a different story of a different soldier in a different war unfolds from Lialina’s opening line. Unlike Lialina’s pioneering use of the internet as an artisitic medium, Birren’s use of technology is deliberately low-fi - Postit notes simulate the frames of a browser, with the film processed to look like it was made in the 1970s."


...and finally, the work of outsider artist Caoimhin Breathnach, shown for the first time since his death. He lived in Knockvicar and collected sound recordings, keeping a diary of his works in Ogham.

"The main focus of Breathnach’s artistic practice was the creation of his unique brand of “subliminal tapes.” This was a two-fold procedure - Breathnach began by recording sounds onto cassette tapes, before subjecting the tapes to a wide range of physical processes, such as burying, burning or encasing them in various materials such as velvet, paper or moss. In most cases, these physical processes rendered the tapes unplayable, so that the sounds recorded on them can now only be imagined.

For tape 79, Breathnach notes how he rose at dawn on the summer solstice (“grian-stad”) in 1982 to record himself playing a series of chords on the harp against the backdrop of his radio broadcasting at 1485 Khz. After sleeping with the tape under his pillow for a night, he then wore the tape strapped to his abdomen for a week, noticing significant improvement to his “strampail” and “gl√≥rghail” (both obscure words are defined in Dineen as referring to stomach noises)."


The show is on until Thursday the 25th for those of you in the area. More details here.

1 comment:

Felix said...

The show looks amazing! I am especially a fan of Nollaig's work! I also love the sound collector and you just can't have too much outsider art!

MAGNIFICENT! x