Taking references from the life of international playboy, philanthropist and newspaper tycoon James Gordon Bennett Jr., this body of work brings together boy racer stickers, archaeological remains, technological sham, as well as the human demand to be and remain current or 'in the news' and yet be different.

Gordon-Bennett explores aspects of representation and media manipulation, connected across a biographical narrative, a reflection and action on the propaganda of mass communications. The multiple narratives that run through the work explore ideas, facts, or even allegations spread deliberately to further an individual's cause or life mission. Gordon-Bennett includes sculpture installation, photography, and drawings.

James Gordon Bennett Jr. sponsored expeditions in Africa and the Artic as well as sporting events to create media spectacles which were covered by his newspaper The New York Herald. The works in the show reverse this process to create a series of spectacles which manipulate or misrepresent his life, not so much memorials to his extravagant lifestyle but starting points for a conversation about how social events and perceptions are constructed and remembered.

There is an archaeological and theatrical feel to the work but these disciplines do not inform the work directly. The cue instead is from the museum in general, the museum in ruins, from history that maybe never happened, from a history that is always up for grabs, to be constantly re-interpreted and misunderstood.

 

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GB and the Western World
Galway Arts Centre, October, 2005.

Gordon Bennett Sound Off
Fused Festival, South Dublin County Council, July, 2005.

Gordon-Bennett!
Grennan Mill,
Kilkenny Arts Festival, August, 2004.

 

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catalogue essay by Noel Kelly from Kilkenny Arts Festival PDF