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Constellations by Orlaith Phelan

Submitted by on April 27, 2019 – 10:56 amNo Comment

C o n s t e l l a t i o n s
Wolfgang Tillmans, Rebuilding the Future Exhibition | IMMA

I’m photographs, sometimes photocopies, sometimes even photographs of photocopies. I’m taut, stretched and bare. Thin skin on clips balanced on an edge, human in and of paper. I’m framed, bound, sealed and dispersed in my own ordered disorder. I’m not hierarchy. I’m raised, pressed in corners, by door frames, over eyes, scattered flecks along each wall. Patterns colliding with vulnerable intent. I hide and I consume, between hard glass, white edge, and a devouring red that lingers as mirrored traces against the flat planes towards the hand that holds your dripping head.

I’m moments and the interstitial. The infra thin of borders and after borders, leaving both a position and a question. I’m that yellow line down the middle. The stain, the muck; the scratches that are not meant to be. I break, spatter and gather; a box of empties all used up. Systems, fragments and scraps of something dirty and divine. The excesses of the time; the love on the dance floor, the cock in your mouth, and the hands you hold in prayer. I’m the white wave catching colour, the fold that denies and caresses dark and light.

I’m showing you what makes the “me” of this, the pieces of now, and the things not of us. The measures of power, growth and decay at every scale. The cracks in the sand, spilling veins of disruption and collapse. I’m the apparatus and the ties, the plastic tubes that coil and hang. Colours that melt of horizons that must remember not to fade. I’m the light that hits your back, in the glow to the gutter of what came before the morning with the remains smeared at our feet. I’m your hand that rests in the crisp blue.

I’m of an old future looking back. Always changing; a process of medium becoming object becoming body. My body that’s been recorded, crumpled, erased, and exposed, but always rebuilding forward. I’m the black on brown, the tight brace on your flexed muscle reminding. I’m an approach without fear to push or pause. Cravings and thoughts of joy and distress; the singular pluralities of all parts human. I’m the intimacy of the explicit unprotected, and the desire that punctures the mundane desperate to seek and see. I’m all parts human and the need to be expressed.

I’m not a theme and I’m no one thing. I’m the opposite of your reductive thoughts and the will to be the obvious. An abstraction that keeps abstracting, but somehow I manage to hold and hover in the sounds of “just enough to think” and “let’s stop before we go too far”. A life of work from a work in life. I’m a thread of all things, like a constellation that burns in and out of sight; an offering of all points with nothing denied.


Orlaith Phelan is an architect and a current student of Art in the Contemporary World

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