Beyond The Frontier, 19th - 4th July 2013
“Futures are absolutely not some unknown realm over the temporal horizon, they are not floating untethered. They are situated in everyday practice and are therefore inseparable from the landscape of their making”. - John F. Kennedy, New Frontier, 1960 Democratic Convention Address
Beyond The Frontier was an exhibition trail of contemporary video art situated in shop windows throughout the town of New Ross, Co. Wexford. It formed part of the major celebrations that took place during JFK50 The Homecoming, in commemoration of John F Kennedy’s visit to New Ross in 1963.
This exhibition took the landscape as its point of departure to dwell upon the human desire/obsession for utopia. It was a celebration of imagination as the fuel that drives innovation. The title of the exhibition “Beyond The Frontier” transpired from John F. Kennedy’s “New Frontier” speech, where he inspired generations with utopian visions of elevating America to the stars and beyond. The five artists for “Beyond the Frontier” each evoke a symbolic representation of the landscape through imagery and words that are situated in the 21st century but have the ability to reach outside the temporal horizon and echo JFK’s own visualizations.
MARY RUTH WALSH
Dublin born Mary-Ruth Walsh received a B.A. in Fine Art and Art History from the National College of Art and Design Dublin and a Masters Degree at Goldsmiths College University of London. Walsh’s work has been selected for exhibitions nationally and internationally and she was awarded the Artist’s
Residency Programme in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) Dublin. More recently Walsh constructed an unusual outdoor exhibition titled Real E-State relating to Jonathan Swift and Ireland’s housing and economic crisis- IMMA and the Arts Council of Ireland supported this project. Walsh also co-curated an exhibition titled Utopia Ltd, comprising of UK and Irish artists in the Highlanes Gallery and Wexford Arts Centre. Walsh lives and works in her studio in New Ross, Co. Wexford and beyond.
When the architect Mies van der Rohe first saw an X-Ray of the human body who would have thought that the transparent glass buildings we see everywhere today could be traced to that moment? Like all ideas there are often many contributors and Van der Rohe was not the first to think of transparency in buildings. Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International with its giant rotating transparent rooms is surely the most famous building never built. Designed for St. Petersburg, Tatlin’s transparent rooms were idealising the way the government could conduct their business. The Crystal Palace and the Louvre Pyramid add to the lineage of transparency in buildings. Transparency makes huge urban constructions of vast-scale disappear; transparency turned into obscurity. Walsh’s work explores ideas of human interaction with architectural space and the manner in which it affects the way we move and behave. These ideas are explored in film, drawing, painting and installation.
Wolfgang Lehrner is an artist based in Vienna, Europe. Educated at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Lehrner has exhibited widely since 2008. Lehrner’ recent work - WORLD CITY - investigates the cosmopolitan image of the 21st century. Searching for the local in the global, the same in the other. As a visionary he is working constantly on an aerial tramway from Vienna to Tokyo: EURASIAN GONDOLAS.
Reality as a movie. Movie as reality
On his countless voyages Wolfgang Lehrner has captured over 60 moving images, consisting of 1-minute videos that are dedicated to the poetic of the everyday. “Wait a Minute” shows us a man staring into the vastness, alone in the metropolis of Mumbai with time out of control. “Vostok 1” is a portrait of the Vostok 8K72K rocket at the All-Russian Exhibition Centre in Moscow. Nothing moves - only the smoke rising in the distance- as a reminder to one of the great moments of history. “Joshua Tree” draws us into the Californian desert, somewhere between national parks and Las Vegas. Air conditioning meets renewable energies.
Emily Richardson is a UK based artist filmmaker who creates film portraits of particular places. Her work focuses on sites in transition and covers an extraordinarily diverse range of landscapes including empty East End streets, forests, North Sea oil fields, post-war tower blocks, empty cinemas and Cold War military facilities. Richardson’s films have been shown in galleries, museums and festivals internationally including Tulca 2012, Ireland; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Firstsite, Colchester; Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris; Botkyrka Konsthall Sweden; The Wapping Project, London; Artprojx Cinema at the Armory Show, New York; FACT Liverpool; Tate Modern and Tate Britain, London. She was awarded the Gilles Dusein Prize, Paris 2009 in recognition of her films. Richardson’s work is distributed by LUX, London.
In astronomical terminology redshift is a term used in calculating the distance of stars from the earth, hence determining their age. Redshift attempts to show the huge geometry of the night sky and give an altered perspective of the landscape, using long exposures, fixed camera positions, long shots and time-lapse animation techniques to reveal aspects of the night that are invisible to the naked eye. The film has a gentle intensity to it, and is composed of changes of light across the sea, sky and mountains. It shows movement where there is apparent stillness, whether in the formation of weather patterns, movement of stars, the illumination of a building by passing car headlights or boats darting back and forth across the sea’s horizon.vv
Alan Butler graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2004 with a BA in Fine Art, specialising in new media. Between 2005-2007 he co-founded Monster Truck Gallery & Studios and he also curated many group and solo exhibitions around Dublin. In 2009 Butler completed an MA in Fine Art at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. Butler is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work has featured in many solo and group projects/ exhibitions, some of which include: The Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore; Hatje Cantz Con prefazione di Angela Vettese, Venice; École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin; Cake Contemporary Arts, Kildare; G126, Galway; The Mermaid, Wicklow; The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; Dublin Contemporary 2011; Solas Nua, Washington, D.C.; Mina Dresden, San Francisco. Butler currently occupies a membership studio at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios.
‘[Flying] Tin [Deep] Pan [Folly]’
This video brings together a number of cultural motifs which relate to the globalization of entertainment that originates from the United States in the last 100 years. The environment we see is appropriated from the original iPad desktop wallpaper - a quasiphotographic representation of a somewhat anonymous lake, which has been altered in this case to act as a 3-D landscape. A US military Reaper drone hovers around this landscape in a seemingly benign and aimless fashion. Its fuselage is emblazoned with a pepperoni pizza pattern, a recurring device in the artist’s work. At one level this pattern relates to the sharing of vacuous imagery online, but is also a more reflexive signifier that has its roots in the sharing of culture and its adaptation into various forms as it is encountered by different peoples. The appropriations in this work aim to converse with one another where: the imagery critiques the sound and vice-versa. The music, from a 1940’s 78rpm recording, was originally written for the Tin Pan Alley music publishers in New York in 1919, who were part of a failed attempt to reform copyright control in 1895. Its lyrics crystallize a certain romantic ignorance of foreign cultures. It presents to us a warped, imperialist world-view, which while seemingly benign, is rather symptomatic of the ideologies of its time.
Brigid McLeer is an Irish artist based in London. She trained in Fine Art at NCAD, Dublin, The University of Ulster, Belfast and Slade School of Art, London.
Mc Leer is interested in ideas around contingent subjectivity and works in various media including video, durational performance, photography, and drawing/writing. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘One + One’, at Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and Wexford Arts Centre, Ireland, ‘Horizontal Ontologies’ Art Currents Institute, New York, Isoli [cont.], Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, and ‘Vexations’, Site Gallery Sheffield, UK. Mc Leer is currently Course Director of Fine Art (BA) at Coventry School of Art & Design.
The Road (after McCarthy) 2013
‘The Road (after McCarthy)’ is a single-screen video made in response to Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel ‘The Road’. The video comprises all of the instances in the novel where the words ‘dark’ and ‘okay’ appear, and recompresses them into a new time-based sequence.
McCarthy is a quintessentially American writer in the tradition of Faulkner or Hemmingway however he is also, as Kennedy was, a descendent of Irish immigrants. His work roughly spans the 50 years since Kennedy visited New Ross and although The Road was written in 2006, it is a timeless, almost allegorical work whose future could be any future, anywhere, in any time.
Commissioned specifically for ‘Beyond The Frontier’ this new video draws on McCarthy’s intensely distilled and dystopic vision articulated through a text in which the word ‘dark’ appears 130 times in a book of only 241 pages. Like a kind of pigmentation ‘dark’ soaks through the bleak narrative, however, it is continually diluted by the humanity of exchange between the two main characters of the book, an unnamed father and son, exemplified by the simple reiteration of the word ‘okay’. McLeer seeks to continue and extend some of these resonances in a visual form in order to open up new, but related, readings.