Without a Future



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Curated by Matthew Nevin

2 – 24 October 2016 

The MART Gallery

 

Without a Future is an ongoing research work that develops live electrical current as sculptural form. Commissioning electrical current in this way is in keeping with Margaret O’Brien’s experimental approach to form and materials. Its precarious nature explores ideas of sculpture and art practice as mobile, unfixed and in flux, something fleeting and unsustainable. Originally sited as a temporary outdoor installation, It connects on a fundamental level to relationships between site and subject, context and environment, wherein the activity of the electrons is visibly vulnerable to the climatic conditions of its given space from one moment to the next. The conditions of its being waver from sympathetic to hostile with the smallest breeze, with a slight change in humidity, or a rise or drop in temperature, evidenced by the constant colour change ranging from dullest red to brightest orange.

Othering continues with this research through an inventive sculptural installation with kinetics and live sound. To ‘other’, or othering(verb), is a key concept in Continental philosophy, and opposes concepts of Same. The Other refers, or attempts to refer to that which is other than the self, that which is different. Othering helps distinguish between internal and external, between home and away, the certain or uncertain, the physical and psychological. Using non-traditional materials, O’Brien’s Othering makes manifest intangible but critical aspects of the work including sound and visual elements from live electrical circuits.

About the Artist

Margaret O’Brien works primarily with installation and sculpture using a variety of materials such as electrical currents, live sound, light, and kinetics. Her work explores the nature of the in-between as psychological aspects of the everyday that can never be fully understood or articulated, and our individual negotiations of time and space within this. Using particular practices of repetition, non-linear concepts of time and space are presented in the work as past, present and future dimensions occur almost simultaneously through the consistency of the repeat. Here, repetition is used to undermine any fixed reading of the work, creating both movement and stoppage by continuously presenting the possibility of an alternative.

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