Limerick, Ireland
Doireann Ní Ghrioghair, Ruins, 2012, concrete, pigment and plaster, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist

Doireann Ní Ghrioghair

b. 1983, Ireland

Doireann Ní Ghrioghair devised Ruins following a trip to Thessaloniki in Greece, having experienced the multitude of elements of old classical ruins in fields and wastelands, where fragments of ancient architecture. There is literally so much physical history, they don’t know what to do with it. Ní Ghrioghair finds it a cruel irony how this cultural capital and rich history is lying useless in the face of economic crisis.

Ní Ghrioghair imagines these fragments of history in bright, lurid pinks, yellows, greens and blues, appearing mass-produced, representing the gaudiness and synthetics of consumer capitalism. Historically these forms; obelisks, columns, plinths, are embedded in an aesthetic language of power and control. Reimagined here, they become precarious totems to a faltering empire; their potency suffused with frivolousness and flippancy. Precision and exactness is disrupted with playfulness and pleasure and the monuments are denied their heroic autonomy.

Consequently, to the artist, they embody the ambivalence of our current time. This ambivalence is portrayed in the going back to basics rhetoric, yearning for a simpler time and for the timeless ideals of history, instead of the confusing and chaotic values of our contemporary synthetic and illusory culture. Exposed is the quixotic desire for the sacred.

Doireann Ní Ghrioghair lives and works in London. She holds an MA in Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art; PG Dip in Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art, London; Degree in Fine Art, university of ulster, Belfast.

(Text: EVA 2012, After the Future catalogue)

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