Hi! My work often features things that look like furniture and basically coherent narrative writing. Here are some examples of work that I made since this time last year and some of the questions that making them raised for me.
There are too many words on this page because I didn't have time to edit it properly because I'm finishing making an exhibition. Sorry. Also sorry that the pictures are formatted terribly. I meant this to be a slick video or something but didn't have time. Maybe just look at the pictures and treat the words as answers to questions if anyone has any questions.
1. Feeling as big as a house
A performance/narrative recitation about an anxious adult orphan who inherits his parents' Georgian house in Dublin and makes the unexplained decision to crawl up its chimney. He gets stuck and uses the darkness as an opportunity to forget what his body is like and adopt the house as a set of clothes/new body. He then gives a very confident but highly misinformed psycho-history of the domestic chimney.
In terms of execution not a hugely successful work. It was one of my first experiences doing a spoken word performance outside Ireland and a rude awakening to the fact that I speak fast and mumble and no one knows what I'm talking about.
Still, a lot of the stuff about critiquing inherited masculinity, embodying architecture, using my body to perform male narrators who try to pretend they are disembodied intellectuals, etc. remains very important to me. I might do a 2.0 version of this soon if I can get up the confidence to reapproach the text.
2. Loungewear/A tee shirt for Corb
An exhibition in my flat. A video and a bench, both of which I call sculptures. I think this was the first instance of what now feels like an important part of my practice where I insist that things are sculptures.
Also though, as well as calling them sculptures, I gave both of them titled that implied they were clothes.
Kind of lying, or just making increasingly unsupportable claims with a straight face, seems to be becoming important to me as well. I can't entirely account for this yet.
The video was of me drawing with tracing paper and there was a voiceover. It built a weird domestic scene where I inserted myself and my family into the infamous story about Le Corbusier vandalising Eileen Gray's E-1027.
play maybe minutes 2 - 4 of this, password is E-1027 or maybe play only one minute. say the 4th or 5th minute.
This work was a bit of a breaking point for me with a certain kind of narrative writing I've always done which is broadly autobiographical. Previously my line in explaining this was that it wasn't completely autobiographical, or that it wasn't important that it was autobiographical or etc. I enjoy the tensions around kind of lying barefacedly, as I said, but I got sick of making works where I had to explain that it was a barefaced lie. This seemed very counterintuitive. So I stopped writing entirely for a month to think it over. Since then I've been writing more fictional and formally experimental texts, but I maybe want to move back into autobiography with weirder and worse lies mixed in. We'll see.
Loungewear is still in my house. I don't sit on it much but I like looking at it every day and living with it and trying to work out what I think is good about it. I think one of the things I think is good is the cushions: it's the first sculpture I ever made that has both hardness and softness in it. Tracy subletted my house for the summer and sometimes she hung her washing out to dry on it. I like this as well.
I made this consistent chair frame 7 or 8 times and then made a load of different kinds of backs and seats that I attached to it in different ways. They hung out in the PZI building like a scattered herd during Priorities.
I kind of meant to eventually attach more different surfaces in less consistent ways but it settled into being what it was for the event and kind of worked as a version of itself, at least in this exhibition.
But I was interested in their being actually useful as chairs, which isn't true of most of the furniture I make. So when I went back to Dublin for the summer I left them all in the studios of various PZI people to see what happened to them. Maybe if anything interesting has happened when I get back it might turn into some kind of collaborative work. If not I might just lie about it and make a work anyway.
4. The Postpeople
play a bit of this from this point then maybe also play a few seconds of session 2 in the related videos? to show what it's like live
Me and Tracy and Connie started a band. Tracy writes songs live on a typewriter and hands them to me and I immediately have to make up a tune and sing them and Connie stands at a merch table and sells postcards of the songs from the last gig. It's great.
It's been really liberating because I get to only think very directly and focussedly about performance strategies, and live out my rockstar fantasy while also castrating my fantasy rockstar.
5. Bored with a Hole / my summer of infidelity
At the moment I'm in Dublin finishing putting together an exhibition with my friend Hannah Fitz. I said in my text on method towards the end of last year that I wanted to make "the distinction between myself and the me-ish figure that haunts my work more jarring to generate weirder more subversive situations". I then went and made two works that don't really have a me-ish figure in them, but also I think I made them from a perspective that is a lot less certain what my self is than I guess I must have been when I wrote that. I've sort of taken the holidays as an opportunity to be unfaithful to myself and the project I laid out towards the end of last year. This is probably more an experiment than a programme for the forever future.
Both are sculptures with accompanying sound works. The pictures here are all of the table one because the other one isn't installed yet and it doesn't have any good drawings of it. They're a kind of a detour into me indulging and critiquing my own draw towards personification. I find personification kind of irresistible but also sort of hate it. Usually I try to just push this tension to the back of my mind but on this occasion I've gone for it hell for leather.
I won't say too much cause I often don't know what things actually are or what they are about until after they are over. Maybe I'll know better when I see you all on Monday.
Looking forward to it! x