Rob O'Connor : Core

11 March - 5 April 2011

For me it is the power of religious imagery that interests me; the coercion of the viewer.  If the crucifixion is a staggering sight, regardless of whether Jesus existed or not, what is it we’re seeing when we look at it?  The ‘Ocular Gush’ – what is it?

 

It is strange to think of the arts connection to religion in this day and age.  The ideal of art as a substitute/surrogate religion goes back to Wilde and Ruskin. But religion is moral while art is based in pleasure. These new works are informed by classical modes of image making with narrative removed, or perhaps truncated is a better word.   Meaning is obscured and one is served what one brings oneself – the subjective.  The role of the figure is, in part, to imply meaning, but meaning is not fixed.  As Albert Camus (my favorite writer) wrote of Sisyphus: ‘the struggle itself is enough to fill a man’s heart.  One must imagine Sisyphus happy’.

 

The title ‘- Core’ relates to my studio where a few punk and hardcore bands rent a   room.  There is a certain humour in this word core and in its ability to amplify any word.  Something ‘shit’ can be so shit that it is ‘shitcore”, thus good.  Or when the punk ideal truncates into many things, the term ‘hardcore’ appears. Hardcore can relate to being staunch and bold, but can also mean a shallow crust-like surface. Meanings are not fixed but found.

 

Rob O’Conner