As the Jorge Luis Borges’ quote that titles this exhibition implies; we are situated in the realm of affect*. And this is never more so than in an age such as ours that makes use of an ever expanding array of complex digital representations. This blurred avatar may remain unresolved, yet in reality it is the more accurate image of self. If this diffusion is acceptable for the way we see the self, then why not the same for that ultimate manifestation of what it is to be human; the art that we create?
In this group exhibition at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios the use of diffusion, overlay and mirroring all add simultaneity to the works featured and what I found particularly interesting was each artist’s manipulation of our expectations of certain media. Edgardo Aragón’s La Encomienda is a projected work which has a certain Greek stage-setting applied to it. The work’s focus cleverly marks the antithesis to what this medium usually constitutes (light and detail)- here we see a chorus of men in silhouette singing into the blackness of an abandoned mine. The platonic overtones suggesting that what we are seeing is merely the boundary of our own prison, our own limited perception.
The work of Gavin Murphy explores the complex exchange between two and three dimensionality; the archival nature of the installation creating an insistence on engagement. The work also provides a deeper questioning of the pervasiveness of art, the necessity to create and how art is temporalised. In 4000 Disparos by Jonathas de Andrade we see the artist overlay faces upon faces, each indiscriminate, unquestioning, and ultimately unknowing how they will be represented. Overlaid one upon the other the images suffuse, building up a sculptural form in what is actually a video work. Lisa Tan’s projection of the National Geographic magazine sees images of far-flung places, so familiar in many ways, now displayed on a free-standing screen. This new iteration gives the piece a statue-like effect within the space, allowing the viewer to move around the work; as if the magazine had somehow become a monument. The images shown, oddly enough still holding onto that remembrance of former presentation with the paper retaining that lovely yellowish 1970’s hue.
Each work comes together very well in this exhibition, the multi-dimensionality and non-geographic framing allowing the viewer an ease of purchase upon the concepts being explored. Each piece presents itself within the archive and yet the manipulation of format transposes the issues raised into the now. The novel aspect to each giving situational relevance to what are complex narratives.
The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream, curated by Paula Naughton and featuring work by Jonathas de Andrade, Edgardo Aragón, Gavin Murphy and Lisa Tan.
*Affect: This term is used here in reference to Spinoza’s Ethics part III
Image: Lisa Tan, copyright the artist