Rosebud curated by Alison Pilkington & Cora Cummins. The Library Project, Dublin.
The title of the show Rose Bud references the famous media baron Charles Foster Kane’s final utterance / statement in the 1941 film Citizen Kane (Dir. Orson Welles. The film depicts the life of the publishing tycoon and aims to solve the mystery of what or who is Rose Bud through flashbacks. There remains a great power in the printed or reproduced word or image even though Walter Benjamin asserts that the loss of aura and authenticity occurs through reproductions in his essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction or Reproducibility (1936)
Emma Finucane & Mary A. Fitzgerald : We responded to the idea of the private proclamation, looking at the act of private or personal messaging in public we looked at messages or proclamations painted and written on walls and engraved in concrete. We collected images, from Dublin specifically, of these private/public proclamations and compiled them into a limited edition Zine. We are interested in the notion of beauty and the poetic in the found image and the idea of re-assigning value by making a printed publication for an art exhibition. As printmakers we are interested in other methods of dissemination and distribution. We are also interested in the collaborative processes of production, choosing the images, collating, editing, designing, printing, choosing and searching for these beautiful and poetic found images. A Zine can re evaluate the power of the hand made multiple.
The Library Project, Temple Bar, Dublin. September 2015
In 1927 Russian poet Daniil Kharms received a copy of Kasimir Malevich’s book with a hand-inscribed message from the artist: “Go and stop progress”. In those societies tormented by the experiences of the Great War and totalitarianism, the logic of progress as a continuous improvement and betterment of the human condition was confronted by its own failure, marked by debris, ruins and personal catastrophes.
A U-turn is a simple driving manoeuvre that not only allows for a reversal of the direction of a journey but also offers a rare and unexpected chance to glance back at what we left behind, especially when travelling at high speed. Russian theorist Boris Groys uses this act as a vivid metaphor for philosophical metanoia – or the reversal of the gaze – classically described by Walter Benjamin in the figure of Angelus Novus who turns his back towards the future so that he can look back on the past and present.
This group exhibition employed this tactic of metanoia as a mode of looking at progress by examining its recent histories and traces. Though an unstoppable force surging linearly towards an infinite future, progress here is no longer only the mere act of facing forward. Instead it also looks back at its residues, reflections and remnants of its procession.
Above Images Top: Moving slowly, but gracefully, acrylic and oil on gesso board, 30 x 30 cm
below: Futures, Acrylic and glitter on gesso board 27 x 15cm
Proposal for Ceiling Apparatus – circulation curated by Paul McAree