The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.

11 April – 07 June 2014

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream, curated by Paula Naughton and featuring work by  Jonathas de Andrade, Edgardo Aragón, Gavin Murphy and Lisa Tan. The exhibition brings together artists who revisit history through personal and staged narratives. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, real and imagined, each artist creates a palimpsest site to negotiate new meaning. Existing in neither the past or present this in-between space uncovers alternate ‘truths’. Through shared processes of documentation and archiving, the artists address culture as a form of representation in order to examine complex issues of social & political structures.

Themes of historical amnesia are explored in the work of Jonathas de Andrade. Filmed on the streets of Buenos Aires, Andrade captured the faces of 4000 anonymous men on Super 8 black and white film. Transferred onto video the images are montaged together at an aggressive speed, the faces blurring into one. Titled 4000 Disparos (translated into English as 4000 shots), refers to desaparecidos, a term used to describe the disappeared during the Argentinean dictatorship of 1970’s. Through the mechanism of the lens, the work resurrects the emotions historicized in the past.

Collective and personal memory are interconnected in the work of Edgardo Aragón. In a video titled, La Encomienda, Aragon resists the exploitation of his native Oaxaca region in Mexico by foreign mining companies. A choir of young men perform a composition of mining protest slogans from different Latin American countries. Sung in a Baroque style, slogans such as ‘This is our land, mining companies be damned!’ – confront the viewer as they sing into the mouth of an abandoned mine shaft. The staging of the chorus creates a metaphor for the collective voice of the region.

Gavin Murphy uses extensive cultural material sifted from art, history, theory & literature to form temporal and constructed narratives. His practice involves the assemblage of unique fabricated elements, combining the fictive and the factual – creating analogies as a means to interrogate time and commemorate cultural memory. Recently he has explored the cultural significance of our built environment, in this instance referencing the Australian–Irish architect Raymond McGrath, among others. The extract, Telescopes for Solar Observations meanwhile, references an 18th century experiment in the use of coloured glass, installed as a text and glass intervention on the gallery windows which transforms the space into a tinted lens. The work further extends inside the gallery with an inter-textual composition of photographs and vintage glass that create a poetic metaphor for the constructed world.

Lisa Tan exhibits National Geographic, a double slide projection installation. Culled from the artist’s late father’s collection of National Geographic magazines from the 1970’s and 80’s, romantic images of mountains are displayed. Twined with abstract images of the reverse of the magazine pages, the synchronised images evoke our shared perception of topography. As well as pointing to these broader universal interpretations, Tan subtly reveals a personal reading indicated through an accompanying exhibition text. Through the apparatus of archival structures Tan weaves ambiguous journeys of association.

The exhibition title, The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream. is a quote by the writer and poet, Jorge Luis Borges.

Biographical information

Jonathas de Andrade (b. Maceió Brazil, 1982) Lives and works in Recife, Brazil. In addition to having presented solo shows such as Museu do Homem do Nordest Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo, 2013; Cartazes para o Homem do Nordeste, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon; 4000 Disparos, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, 2013; Ressaca tropi-cal, Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo, 2010. He has also participated in important group exhibitions such as 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France; La Bienal 2013: Here is where we jump, El Museo del Barrio, Nova York; Future Generation Art Prize, Venice; the Right to the City, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amster-dam, Amsterdam; When Attitudes became Form Become Attitudes – CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Prêmio CNI/sEsI Marcantonio Vilaça para Artes Plásticas, Brazil; the Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York; Sharjah Biennial 10, Sharjah, 2011; 29ª Bienal de São Paulo.

Edgardo Aragón (b. Oaxaca, Mexico, 1985) received a B.A. from Mexico’s National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Museum Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo MUAC, Mexico City; MoMA PS1, New York; and the LAXART at Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions include Resisting the Present, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2012; Disponible: A Kind of Mexican Show, San Francisco Art Institute, 2011; and El horizonte del topo, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 2010; and forthcoming exhibitions at the Kadist Foundation, San Francsico; and the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, TX. Aragón was also included in the 3rd Moscow Biennial of Young Artists, the 12th Istanbul Biennial, and the 8th Mercosul Biennial. He currently lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Gavin Murphy is a Dublin-based artist and curator with a long engagement with artist-led projects and collaborative initiatives and is director/curator of the artist-run space, Pallas Projects/Studios. Solo exhibitions include the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and Oonagh Young Gallery, 2012; The Golden Bough, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, 2010; Conical, Melbourne, and Institute of Contemporary Art, Newtown, Sydney, both 2009; The LAB, 2008, and Four Gallery, 2006, both Dublin. Group exhibitions include Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio, BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts, Brussels, 2013; Dorm, The Model, Sligo, 2010; Frontier, Green on Red gallery, 2008; Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires, Colony, Birmingham, 2007. Curated projects include John Smith The world seems a long way away at Pallas Projects; Martin Healy Facsimile at Lismore Castle Arts; Automatic, Auto Italia, London & Pallas Projects, Dublin curated with Chris Fite-Wassilak; and Darklight Compendium Vol. 1 among others.

Lisa Tan (born 1973, New York, USA) is an artist living in Stockholm, Sweden. She received an MFA from the Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California (USC), in Los Angeles. She is currently enrolled as a practice-based PhD at the University of Gothenburg, Valand Academy. Tan works in video, photography and installations to explore the intricate relationship between language and experience. In the past year her work has been presented in several exhibitions and screenings, including Cimiterie d’Ixelles with Lisa Oppenheim at Art in General, New York; Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy? LIAF Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway, Duets at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon; Encore! at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; On the Passage of a Few at Simon Preston, New York; Speaking and Thinking at Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm; and Kino der Kunst film festival, Munich

This exhibition is kindly supported by the University of Gothenburg, Valand Academy.

With thanks to Monster Truck Studios, Project Arts Centre and Gallery of Photography.