NOTHING & EVERYTHING | 13.06.2014 – 26.07.2014
Sometimes, at home, when the bath is filled and the light is just right, there is a reflection on the water from the small square window in the bathroom that looks out onto an enclosed courtyard. The large tree filling the external space ripples on the bath water and seems to me to be more interesting than the 'real' view. It is intriguing that this image I find so fascinating is barely there or anything at all; it is almost nothing.
In B.S. Johnson's admittedly angry but also at times beautiful and touching 1967 film You're Human Like the Rest of Them, William Hoyland plays the protagonist Haakon, a teacher railing against indifference and the unquestioning. During an exchange with his fellow teachers in the staff room he is told that he is being childish, to which he replies "Because you first realized it as a child doesn't make it childish equals useless".
I have recently been thinking a lot about surrender, to simplicity and the act of making, to the ever reinvention of the studio, to making and finding, to placing and finding out through doing, or simply speaking to finding out later what I have been doing. In the summer 2013 issue of the Berlin publication mono.kultur, in an extended interview with his daughter Irial Brian Eno said on this subject "I think of surrendering as an active verb, not a passive verb. Surrendering isn't just giving up and doing nothing. Surrendering is knowing when you can't control something and knowing how to go with the flow."
Ian Stewart writes with some degree of humor and great clarity on the subject of nothing in his essay Zero, Zip, Zilch, which was recently republished in the fascinating New Scientist book Nothing, edited by Jeremy Webb. He states, "Nothing is more interesting than nothing. Nothing is more puzzling than nothing, and nothing is more important that nothing."
Reconstructed from Fragments is both the title of a new work in Nothing & Everything and in retrospect, (things are easier to see after the fact, after all) a methodology in my work all along.
When I typed the title, Nothing & Everything, my spelling and grammar tool gave the familiar advice and instruction "fragment, consider revising". In fact this short text is nothing but a number of fragments, thoughts and notes that could be moved into any order. The work is assembled and made from multiple parts and ideas like this also, often interested in the overlooked, the almost nothing.
Fergus Feehily, Berlin May 2014
Fergus Feehily, born in Dublin 1968, has exhibited widely. Solo exhibitions include Misako & Rosen, Tokyo (2013) and Mother's Tankstation, Dublin (2013), Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London (2011), The Dallas Museum of Art (2011), The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2009 & 2012) and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (2008). His work has been included in numerous group shows, recently in Painter Painter, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013), Café Horizon (You slowly look around now – hold it), Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung, M.1, Hohenlockstedt (2013), Why not live for Art? II - 9 collectors reveal their treasures, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (2013), Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & the Francis Bacon Studio, BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts, Brussels (2013) and Painting Expanded, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (2011), and will be part of Dukkha, an upcoming show in The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin and A Poem for Raoul and Agnes, curated by Sherman Sam, in Ancient & Modern, London.