Garrett Phelan



Dates: 30 Jan - 09 Apr

Show Time: 11.00am - 8.00pm

Excluding Sundays and bank holidays

You are welcome to join us for the opening of this exhibition on Thursday 29 January 6.00pm – 8.00pm.

In a newly commissioned solo exhibition for Project Arts Centre, Garrett Phelan explores the power and influence that cultural traditions and artefacts have on the contemporary psyche. Through the recollection of his experience of witnessing the winter solstice at Newgrange, and numerous visits to ancient sites throughout his life and travels, he questions the power such antiquated relics hold over us today.

The exhibition comprises two new video works and sculpture. The first video work is divided between a storytelling monologue by the artist and a dramatically filmed grouping of ambiguous gold objects. These real and imagined encounters with ancient monuments and relics are punctuated within the gallery by sculpture composed of microphones, cables and glass. The second piece is a throbbing animation, both hand-drawn and computer animated, flicking through many of Phelan’s most emblematic images.

Phelan’s visiting and imagining of ancient monuments plays on a deeper exploration of personal politics, the desire to decipher the world and the limitation of our understanding. Phelan asks if we can ever really be free from inherited social practices? From the conditions and belief systems that shape and accompany us through our formative years and thereafter? Can we be free from institutions? Free from symbols? Free from history? It is an agonised position and these are agonised questions. But they are questions asked around the proximity of neolithic stones, of enduring objects which in Garrett Phelan’s way of thinking may have achieved this idea of freedom.

A text about the work written by Project Arts Centre’s Curator of Visual Arts, Tessa Giblin can be viewed here.

Garrett Phelan (born in Dublin, 1965) has developed a distinctive practice through ambitious, site-specific projects that include drawing, independent FM radio broadcasts, sculptural installations, photography, animation and text ephemera. Recent solo exhibitions include NEW FAITH LOVE SONG at IMMA Dublin 2012; ELECTROMAGNETIC PHENOMENON at Context Gallery Derry 2011; Between two ITs at SMART Project Space NL 2010; and group exhibitions at EVA International 2014; Palais des Beaus-Arts de Bruxelle 2013; AIR de Lyon, BA 2012; ICA, London 2012; 11th Biennale de Lyon 2011.

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Image: Ethereal Assemblage – MD-4000 Vintage Microphone and Undiscovered Celtic Gold 2500 BC – A VOODOO FREE PHENOMENON, clay, gold leaf, 15m microphone cable, three pole XLR connectors (male/female), 2014

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