Thursday, October 05, 2006

Two Person Exhibition at Cavanacor Gallery

Two Person Exhibition David O'Kane and Matthew O'Kane at Cavanacor Gallery July to August 2006

Degree Exhibition at the National College of Art and Design Dublin

Cinema and, more pertinently, animation are two of the most important phenomena of the last century. ‘Animare’ the Latin verb, from which ‘animate’ is derived, literally means ‘to give life to’.

This installation explores the space between the idea and the resulting artwork. Within this space illusion simultaneously reveals and distorts. Reality is revealed as a pathetic illusion. An individual’s perception of reality is altered by time. My work is about the process and trajectory of multiple illusory fragments. It charts the idea of the object from reality to simulacra and examines the omnipresence of the implied artist in the artwork. Temporality, identity and place are juxtaposed to create a vacuum of questions. The animated illusion is a distillation of real time that exposes the fundamental deceptions of film, which lie at the core of its process.

In One invisible Second (2006) still frames are appropriated from The Invisible Man (1933) and translated into the medium of paint. The meaning of such a concrete image such as a photograph is in a constant state of flux. The subsequent manipulation that performed on these images creates a secondary layer of visual thought where the images are abstracted from their original environment into a distorted contemporary reality. These images are used to explore obsession as it relates to the process of artistic creation. All of the images imply death in an abstract way, as outlined by Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida and The Death of the Author. The death of the idea and the destruction of the artist through the work: he is implied yet his presence is fleeting.

Walter Benjamin states that “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: Its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.”(Arendt, 1969, p.220)

Paintings and drawings are given another an extended temporal dimension and some elements are drawn from Freud’s investigation into the ‘unheimlich’ (uncanny or unhomely). The viewer is visually transported from whatever surroundings they may occupy to an illusory realm that is simply an amalgamation of signs representing reality. Drawing by its nature is already a compound of distilled personalized interpretations of moments in time. The subsequent animation of these drawings contradicts our presuppositions about film while strengthening this concentration of individually experienced moments in time. The paintings become projections from the studio into the gallery space. From within to without. The gallery space with its large round window and camera obscura installation functions in the manner of a giant camera exposing the thin veil between the interior and the exterior. This functions as a metaphor for perception and the translation of thoughts from.

Reality and unreality are forced together in his work and the boundaries between subjectivity and objectivity dissolve so that it is impossible to decipher whether the images are a projection from the artists unconscious or an alternate reality.