Please accept my apologies
My work was selected from an open submission for Invisible – an exhibition that formed part of the Black Church Print Studios programme. The premise for Invisible had always been that the work would be placed in multiple venues all across Dublin city, creating a trail of artworks.
This was a show I had really wanted to be involved in as I had a feeling it would be exciting and of a very high standard. Unbeknownst to me a show was being developed by Marguerite O’Molloy, Assistant Curator of Collections in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, that shared some of the same concerns as Invisible. This show was to become What happens next is a secret. T The curators of Invisible, Oliver Dowling, John Graham and Margaret O’Brien heard of Marguerite’s show and approached her, highlighting the crossover between her concept and their own. The work that had been selected for Invisible was shown to Marguerite to see if she could choose a piece that would fit in nicely with What happens next… thereby allowing Invisible to have a presence in IMMA. Lo and behold Marguerite saw my work, liked it and invited me to show in IMMA. This kind of thing does not happen often in my quiet little world! Obviously I said yes and so began an industrious panic to produce work that I hoped would live up to everyone’s expectations.
Preparations and installation went well and I was surprisingly happy with the end result. My piece stayed in situ not only for the three week duration of Invisible but also for the full run of What happens next… . This show finished on the 18th of April though rumor has it you may still be able to see some of my pieces about the place until they eventually disappear. I made several field trips to IMMA over the course of What happens next…, not only to document the gradual degradation of my own work, but also to visit the show itself – a highly experimental collection exhibition that saw pieces disappear, reappear and be moved over the duration on the show. It was an exciting and quite possibly ground break exhibition to be involved with.
Below are the fruits of my labour. There were five circles in total though I view them as one work. The title was ‘Please accept my apologies’. These images chart the transformation of the pieces from pristine white little stickers to grubby, illegible and in some cases missing bits of rubbish. You can’t be at all precious about this kind of art and I like the fact it’s so disposable.
Circle 1: Located in the foyer area in IMMA, this was the largest circle and measured approximately 5ft in diameter. It was subject to the most amount of footfall, as is probably evident in the close-ups below.
Circle 2: Located in the colonnade in IMMA leading from the foyer to the Gordon Lambert Galleries where What happens next… was being shown. This circle measured approximately 3ft in diameter. Although I would have like it to be bigger I had to be reasonable and consider that I would be working outdoors in the middle of February in the Irish winter. I will never forget sitting there will hail stones all around me and thinking to myself, there is nothing else I would rather be doing right now. There is a structure in the right of this image that is by artist Tine Melzer and this also formed part of What happens next is a secret.
Circle 3: This was the first of three pieces in the gallery space itself. It is pictured here with pieces by Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, Mark Manders and Jack Butler Yeats. This circle measured approximately 4ft in diameter.
Circle 4: The second circle in the gallery space, this piece measured just 2.5ft in diameter. It is pictured here with pieces by Tine Melzer, Paul Nugent and Craigie Horsfield. The final image of this circle, below, also shows a cable from one of Russell Hart and Karl Burke’s sound pieces trailing across the work.
Circle 5: This was the final and most important circle of ‘Please accept my apologies’ and is pictured here with a piece by Marina Abramovic. It was just over 1ft in diameter and was the only circle to have a narrative. Whereas all other circles detail a repeated phrase, this piece told a story. I will not repeat it here as it cannot have the same effect as when viewed in situ. I installed it very close to the radiator so it was in a particularly awkward position to read. The radiator added to the experience at it made a subtle, yet very intense, humming noise. It was also, unsurprisingly, quite hot. I would hope that these small nuances were not lost on an audience. The thinking was that the intense noise and heat, combined with the awkward positioning of the circle and the dense subject matter would provide the viewer with an overall experience. One which hopefully stayed with them.