Curated by Alice Butler The L Shape was an exhibition featuring artists Jenny Brady and Sarah Browne at the centre of which were two moving image works; a new presentation of Brady’s Going to the Mountain (2015) and Browne’s The Invisible Limb (2014), shown for the first time in a gallery context in Ireland.
Going to the Mountain consists of three formal studies of pre-verbal babies. With a score developed in collaboration with Andrew Fogarty and featuring improvised percussion by David Lacey, the video considers how the pre-verbal child might represent a site of embodied knowledge by depicting the complexities of their gesture, rhythm and movement through a process of defamiliarisation.
Similarly concerned with a sense of closeness and dissociation, The Invisible Limb is a film letter addressed to Charlotte Posenenske, a deceased German artist known for the rigour of her artistic oeuvre and her withdrawal from art practice in favour of sociology in 1968. Intercut with archival footage is newly filmed material of Cynthia Moran, an Irish stone carver born in the same year as Posenenske, who continues to make work in Ireland and Madrid. Written in English and translated into a German voice, The Invisible Limb corresponds with two women who make sculptures in order to consider the magic of apparently costless production and reproduction.
A nod to the physical relationship between The Dock’s two gallery spaces, The L Shape was conceived as an exhibition that foregrounds the point at which two distinct artistic practices meet and suggested that this intersection offered a possibility for momentum in relation to critical thought and understanding. The exhibition title also referred to the shape of a periscope, an instrument for observation that, like both Going to the Mountain and The Invisible Limb plays with and redirects the reflective properties of the mirror, an object frequently used as a metaphor for cinema. The L Shape then was interested in the relationship between the visible and what remains out of view.
Embracing the transformation of The Dock’s two main galleries into proto-cinema spaces, The L Shape was accompanied and framed by a number of screening events that featured films considering a range of themes, ideas and concerns that arose in Brady and Browne’s work.
On Saturday 13th October as part of the Visual Artists Ireland International Speakers Series, artist Jenny Brady led a discussion with British film maker John Smith. This special event comprised a screening programme followed by a discussion with John Smith about his practice in relation to themes and concerns around language, speech and the nature of communication that arise in The L Shape.
On 22nd September The Dock hosted Nina Conti in conversation with Tara Flynn as part of the Visual Artists Ireland International Speakers Series. Following a screening of the award-winning documentary Her Master's Voice, artsit Sarah Brown introduced the discussion between the ventriloquist and documentary filmmaker Nina Conti and Irish actress and writer Tara Flynn . The conversation centred around themes and concerns that emerge in Her Master's Voice as they relate to The L-Shape, particularly ideas around voice, connection, identity, creativity and death.