A Yellow Rose at the Freemasons’ Hall

a yellow rose

Owen Boss // Colin Martin // Tom O’Dea

Freemasons’ Hall 17 Molesworth Street Dublin 2

August 9th – August 24th

(opening 9th August at 6pm)

a yellow rose takes its name from a Jorge Luis Borges short story that describes the complex relationship between Art and Reality and ventures that while we may speak or allude to something we can never truly express it. The three artists have disparate practices but share an interest in the complexity of representation. A shared affinity with Borges’ allusion through this short story to the futility of art as a means of conveying reality – as the titular yellow rose will always be ‘outside of art’ – has provided a natural nexus. a yellow rose is installed in the Freemasons Hall, a space charged with tradition, ritual and esotericism.

Owen Boss’s practice involves found documentary and live performance. Boss interweaves fictionalised accounts with documentary footage of contested events. Boss will show ‘Testimonial’ a work that splices the actual and fictionalized accounts of a Yorkshire television interview between Brian Clough and Don Revie. It calls into question the original occurrence, its live debate and its eventual fictionalisation. Truth and testimony give way to a forked outcome that blurs boundaries between fact and fiction. Boss will also show ‘Anything for a quiet life’ 2012, a reconstruction by appropriation of the character actor Jack Hawkins autobiography, who despite losing his voice to throat cancer continued to be given speaking parts that were dubbed by other actors.

Colin Martin’s recent practice is concerned with Cinema and Space as worlds we move through physically and virtually. His Film installations depict locations which are bounded, idealised spaces that serve to accommodate things that may not ordinarily exist together naturally (Museums, Gardens, Film Studios). Martin will show two film works ‘Vitrine’ 2012 and ‘Basic Spaces’ 2012, the latter an ongoing investigation into the ‘decorated shed’ as a conduit for social, cultural and political value.

Tom O’Dea’s practice stems from the legacies of Minimalism. He works with a critical knowingness of the doctrines of High Modernism and his modest works engage with both the cache and absurdity of the minimalist gesture. His is a strong position of tentative doubt- the ambition of the work being to exist along the line between the poetic and the borderline pathetic. O’Dea avoids seriality, each work subtly shifts its methodology and quietly occupies a space that argues for the potential of a minor minimalism. The highly ornate and charged site of the Freemasons’ Hall as the antithesis of the sterility of the White Cube could be seen as hostile to such a practice, affording him the opportunity to directly challenge the validity of that as a limitation.

a yellow rose will be accompanied by a text Little Trapdoors by Francis Halsall.