In an invitation to inhabit a story from 122 years ago of the Cattlemen’s invasion of Wyoming, Brian Duggan’s ‘Everything can be done, in principle’ evokes Heaven’s Gate (a film made by Michael Cimino in 1980) through place, costume and activity—transporting VISUAL Carlow visitors into a timber and canvas barn at America’s 19th century mid western frontier. Duggan asks the participant to skate—to imagine the happiness of a community of immigrants fraught with difficulties in their new lives, but able to shake off the dirt and corruption in this heavenly place of elegance and exuberance.
Within the extraordinary galleries of VISUAL Carlow, Duggan has created a setting in which participants, through the act of skating within the exhibition structure, with music and costume, come to inhabit a world of promise, gliding across a pristine timber floor and allowing dreams a chance to seem real. As in Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, this is a haven where hopes and aspirations can be happily and safely expressed, but can never really survive outside the threats of a world in the turmoil of change. The resilience of the human spirit, the hard reality of immigration into new frontiers, the fighting mettle of a poor community against the state apparatus and the need to treasure fleeting happiness when you feel it are some of the underlying themes of this new work by Brian Duggan.
Heaven’s Gate was a film which broke all the rules and supported true art through the ruthless pursuit of authenticity, even to the point of challenging the studio system of the time. The film was historically the source of many of the rules and regulations that surround the film industry today, from the binding of the maverick auteur directors, to cinematic visionaries being replaced by money men.
Brian Duggan, born 1971, lives and works in Dublin. His practice looks at times when things go wrong and sites of stress and breakage, from well known historical events to the overlooked small dramas of the everyday. He brings new challenges into the gallery as a way of asking questions. Abandoned and active sites of human activity, fairground archives, cinema, slapstick scenarios, original arcade games, and similar starting points are utilised as a strategy for finding and asking key questions. Last year he was selected for the Artist Residency Program in the Irish Museum of Modern Art and was commissioned to make new work for the inaugural Dublin Contemporary 2011. In 2012 his work can be seen in a solo exhibition in RuaRed, and group exhibitions in the Lyndecker gallery Spain, National Sculpture Factory Cork, Limerick City Gallery of Art and Braziers Supernormal Oxford UK. His work is in the permanent national collection of the Hugh ane Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
VENUE: MAIN GALLERY VISUAL
VISUAL OPENING HOURS:11am-5pm Tuesday — Saturday 2pm-5pm Sunday