January 31 2014
Continues to February 22
Open Wed-Sat 12-6pm
Ronan McCrea’s exhibition at Enclave continues an exploration of what the artist ironically calls his The History of Photography project. This body of work is orientated towards a re-consideration of historical moments and narratives through the found photograph and the archive, exploring the historicity and materiality of the photographic image in new ways and in the current cultural context of photographic image saturation (Google images etc.). The artist’s research draws on diverse sources and references – from Aby Warburg to the Pictures Generation –and adopts what can be described as a ‘reprographic’ approach in strategies of montage, appropriation, collage, sequence and typology.
The centre piece of the exhibition is Venn (Fragments after a lecture on the history of photography, in two parts) a projected 35mm slide installation which appropriates slide reproductions of photography from the modernist and contemporary canon that at one time formed part of two lectures given by the artist to undergraduate students. The slides are optically duplicated, cropped, repositioned and cut-up, while the use of various blue and orange filters – employed in photographic lighting to convert the colour of a light to either daylight or tungsten light – correspond to, and at times confuse, the supposedly ‘objective’ (Neue Sachlichkeit) and the supposedly ‘expressive’ tendencies within the history of modernist photography as explicated in the original lectures.
In the installation, sequences of projected circular images are juxtaposed and overlap to form a Venn diagram motif. While parodying the reductive binaries inherent in the original lectures, the work suggests other elective affinities and ways of looking while also offering the rich visual pleasures of projection and the diagrammatic.
Also in the exhibition and acting as a counterpoint to the slide projection installation is a work from the Untitled (titles) series of black & white photographs using titles of historical exhibitions of photography and a new wall drawing made for Machine Party (Enclave’s social space) involving a special silver metallic film tape used as an opaque masking material for slides and transparencies and a re-occurring motif in McCrea’s History of Photography project.
Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Ronan McCrea (b. 1969) is based in Dublin and Newcastle upon Tyne. He studied at NCAD, Dublin and University of Ulster, Belfast. Recent projects and solo exhibitions include at Green on Red Gallery, Dublin (2013 and 2011); Sinop Biennial, Turkey (2010), School Play a commission for a primary school (2009); New Town Centre Project (Extract #1) at Blanchardstown, Dublin (2008); Medium (Corporate Entities) a project for the Irish Museum of Modern Art 10,000 to 50 exhibition (2008); Gallery for One & Goethe-Institut Dublin, (2007); Galway Arts Centre (2004), Project Arts Centre Dublin (2003); Glassbox, Paris (2002). In 2005 McCrea was one of seven artists who represented Ireland at the 51st Venice Biennale
Group exhibitions include We are Grammar, Pratt Manhatten Gallery (2011), School Days, Glucksman Gallery, Cork (2010-11); Coalcese: Happenstance, Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2009); Nameless Science, Apexart, New York (2008); Red White Blue, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York (2005); La-La Land, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2005) No-one else brings me the colours that you bring, Temple Bar Galleries & Studios, 2004; Permaculture, Project Arts Centre (2003); Grayscale/CMYK, Tramway, Glasgow (2002); A Timely Place… London Print Studio Gallery, London (2001)
Ronan McCrea is represented by Green on Red Gallery, Dublin and is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne.