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.
Visit : helenmacmahon.com
Helen Mac Mahon is an Irish artist currently based in Dublin and exhibited in Ireland, Europe, the US and Asia. Her work takes the form of installations, sculpture and photography that explore light and perception.
“My practice is concerned primarily with the phenomena of light, movement, perception and space. The work strives to observe and reveal the ecosystem that exists between the viewer and these intangible elements that exist in a perpetual state of transformation. Changes occurring in each facet has a perceptible impact on others, revealing previously overlooked properties and characteristics.
My investigation of these elements is experimental in nature, and this exploratory process is as important as the finished piece, the unpredictability of the techniques often being key to discovery. I use commonplace materials, such as light, glass, and lenses that have the potential to act in surprising ways, distorting and obscuring the very things it is their function to reveal. Each component acts as a catalyst, bringing to light unseen potential in the simplest of materials. Maintaining the integrity of the materials is also important, so the viewer is allowed to experience the everyday objects in new and often unexpected ways.”