The Wonderful Barn Through the Undergrowthis comprised of photographs that relate to each other tangentially, their intention is ambiguous. Boran pictures towers, pylons, masts, plant stalks and monuments from a Piranesian vantage point that places the viewer far below the pictorial object. The desire to ascend is a prevalent motif in this recent body of work in which Boran represents the urge or instinct to reach upward, to peak, to seek out the most prominent positions. Often blurring the line between natural and manmade, Boran poses visual similarities in patterns formed by vines and power lines as they tangle and drape. We are also presented with the idea of pairing and of duality. Through the imagery, which often simulates the visual codes and studio finesse of stock photography, we are invited to consider the idea of doubles and dichotomies, of objects growing into one another.
The photographs in Through the Undergrowth convey their messages obliquely with subtle tones and miniscule detail, free from pixilation and visual noise. In these images background detail has been removed and replaced with a backdrop of serene blue sky, enhancing the clarity of the subject. Boran is interested in abstraction through photography, he creates versions of each photograph and then collates them into a high-resolution, hyper-focused picture plane. By condensing each image he causes a visual time lapse that synthesises a multitude of perceptions concurrently. In this way he reflects on the temporal limitations of still photography and the perception of depth. In the pursuit of specific images and the production of a vast personal archive, Boran examines the manner in which photographs are created and understood, through the undergrowth of the garden to the heights of telegraph poles we can observe a multitude of connections and affinities.
as part of the PhotoIreland Festival 2010
Monster Truck, Temple Bar, Dublin | 1 - 17 July
Demise en Scène brings together work by Michael Boran and Ethna O’Regan that
delve into the vernacular and commercial visual sphere surrounding the holiday
Many travellers are compelled by the futile quest of capturing essences of
natural beauty that live up to their holiday experience. Boran and O’Regan are
looking the other way, unravelling the mechanics operating in perceptions of
amusement and pleasure. The work invites us to contemplate upon the artifice
and commodification of historic/touristic sites and the often-hollow promise of
good times that seem implicit with the process of tourism.
Boran’s images are studies in transience, where the specifics of the visitors,
swarming in procession, seem irrelevant. In Visitors to the Summit the tourist
are so transient that their opacity wanes. It is what links these travellers –
the hope of relaxation and cultural consumption – that the artists linger on.
O’Regan’s work has a resonance with Massimo Vitali’s photographs of densely
populated leisure sites, but where Vitali’s high detail and depth-of-field
casts everyone as extras, more than often O’Regan’s have emphasising hooks,
standing out from the broad visual components – more comfortably recognisable
to and desirable by the viewer from their amassed cultural capital. O’Regan’s
art contains these Barthian ‘puncta’ as playful ambiguities – almost as if
In both artists’ images, it is as if the walls to a cinematic sound-stage have
fallen away, exposing the lie of the leisure-drome. In the tourist realm these
imaginary walls, ceilings and floors are really just the frame of the camera
lens. Here, the skill of the artist has zoomed out or panned beyond the range
of brochure images, in which the tourist begins their holiday.
Musicians: Roger Doyle, Daniel
Figgis, Brian O'hUiginn, Toirse O'Riordain, Ktho Zoid. Visual Artists: Michael Boran, Jenny Brady, Liam O'Callaghan,
Cormac Figgis, Alan Phelan. Soundwork Artists: Neil Bailey with Fint Nusp, Vincent Doherty,
R.G. Evans, Mark O'Leary, Spectac, Sunken Foal, The Jimmy Cake, TWINKRANES.