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Handjob

Oonagh Young Gallery
1 James Joyce Street,
Liberty Corner, Dublin 1

open Wed-Fri 12-6pm
or by appointment with
Oonagh Young info@oonaghyoung.com
tel: 01 855 8600

running until 26th April, 2013

List of works pdf

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Handjob at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, 2014

Oonagh Young Gallery  is pleased to present Alan Phelan's new project HANDJOB. The show, in keeping with much of Phelan's practice, provides a structure for a myriad of random connections - in this instance "hands". The concept has been further opened out to several other artists whose recent work has involved this prestidigitatorial subject.

The springboard for the project is an online archive of hand imagery which Phelan has accumulated over the past year. This eclectic mix of over 1,300 photos has been analysed, processed and purloined to develop several trains of thought. From this connections were made to generate over 30 new works which are clustered in groupings to blur authorship, source and intent.

All the works may be bonded by one common theme, but that is only the surface connector. It's the circulation not appropriation of images and ideas that is key to understanding the show with the gallery space being used in the same manner as an open notebook. This allows the likes of a text about Giovanni Moreilli, two papier-mache ears, an artist statement by actress Lucy Liu and a divining rod to connect via Sherlock Holmes, as one example. 

Collaborating and working with others is also an important part of Phelan's practice and here he has linked up with artists and writers who have all contributed generously to the proposition. Many of the works has been produced by Phelan on instruction by the others who include Douglas Rodrigo Rada from Cochabamba, Bolivia; Sascha Bolt from Franfurt/Berlin; Cut Hands/Not Abel (William Bennett/Ian McInerney) from London and Cork; as well as those closer to home like Brenda Moore McCann, art historian; and artists Lee Welch, Sarah Pierce, and Roisin Lewis all living in Dublin. 

Born in Dublin in 1968, Alan Phelan studied at Dublin City University and Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. He has exhibited widely internationally including BOZAR, Brussels; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Chapter, Cardiff; SKUC, Ljubljana; Feinkost, Berlin; SKC, Belgrade; OK11, Helsinki; Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai; Galeria Del Infinito Arte, Buenos Aires. In Ireland exhibitions include IMMA, mother's tankstation, Dublin; MCAC, Portadown; Limerick City Gallery of Art, and Solstice, Navan and The Black Mariah, Cork. 

He was editor/curator for Printed Project, issue five and has curated exhibitions at the RHA, Farmleigh Gallery, Project Arts Centre, Dublin and in Rochester, New York.  He has received several awards from The Arts Council, Ireland as well as a Fulbright Scholarship and a John F Kennedy Fund Graduate Scholarship.  Phelan has written monograph essays on several artists, including Mike Fitzpatrick, Tom Molloy, Abigail O'Brian and Vanessa O'Reilly. He has also had texts published in A-N magazine, Circa, Contexts, Kunst.ee, Source, Mother's Annual and VAI VAN. 

For a list of works and price list -click here


Opening Hours: Wednesday -  Friday 12 - 6 pm or by appointment 

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OONAGH YOUNG GALLERY 1 James Joyce Street, Liberty Corner, Dublin 1.  Tel: +353 1 8558600

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Link for location of gallery on Google maps -click here


 

 

 

artist statement

HANDJOB began as a convalescence activity after a broken thumb, not some onanistic occupational therapy but something else entirely. Like many minor personal moments in the life of an artist it has now morphed into a more public presentation. For several months last year Phelan posted and re-blogged endless photos of hands on social media. These accumulated and formed the broad basis of a project inspired in part, it should be noted, by a trend amongst self-harming Tumblr kids who fixate on monochrome hand photos.

HANDJOB does not pretend to be an exhaustive archival, or encyclopaedic treatise on the subject of the hand. Nor does it pretend to engage in any curatorial games, or progressive public strategies. What it does pretend to do is present a range of clustered connections between what should mostly appear to be random images, people, and objects.

Thinking of the gallery space as an open notebook would be useful if it were not so trite. There are over thirty pieces on display in this proposition of an exhibition and thousands of images so it’s better to maybe think about circulation instead of appropriation. Source, author, and intent, are loose – diffused to an even greater extent as much of the work was produced by Phelan on instruction or collaboration with the others involved. The result should be completely makeshift, possibly provisional, imbued however with a tentative connectedness, and a bunch of contingent language games that have ensued.

Others involved in the project are friends whose various practices have co-incidentally involved hands in recent projects. This was probably, in part, a reaction to the anonymity of the net and the intense ubiquity of the hand not only in art but everywhere else as well. Distance then became no enemy and so it was great to be able to work with Douglas Rodrigo Rada from Cochabamba, Bolivia; Sascha Bolt from Franfurt/Berlin; Cut Hands/Not Abel (William Bennett/Ian McInerney) from London and Cork; as well as those closer to home like Brenda Moore McCann, art historian; and artists Lee Welsh, Sarah Pierce, and Roisin Lewis all living in Dublin.

In the end what is fascinating are the choreographed systems of chance that are sometimes in synch and then again not. When they do, they seemingly obliterate each other or maybe just quietly cancel each other out. Is this hedging towards an expanded sense of meaning or some semiotic collapse? Not sure anyone cares. Whether subjectivity can break free of the subject is only something that can happen when concept and material are absent. These are other people’s ideas. Cultural delivery systems seem to be central to the way things get understood when distribution not reception is key, or at least less relevant. For the moment there are only elusive fluxes of memories, shifting identities, open-ended narratives, contrapuntal dialogues, diffused authors, and other circulations related to the hand.

http://just-a-hand.tumblr.com