Response to GALLERY CHOOSES TO SUPPORT US ATTACKS


"You realise you may be giving this exhibition one kickass publicity boost?"

That can hardly be bad, given the sensibility and intentionality of the artist, and the exhibit:


Detail from “Nothing Domestic” installation at Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin. The room is filled with AK-47s and electronics connected up to robotic-waving US flags, and pneumatic pumps that pull the triggers of the guns in a strange rhythmic cacaphony. The piece, which “deals with the international trade in arms and the American government’s role in the war in Iraq,” is an onslaught of weaponry and sound. A very impressive work.

Taking an aggressive and ironic stance on issues of social and political violence, an acute topicality is manifested by his latest project on the international arms trade, which was conceived in the months during which the US government made its preparations for and launched the war in Iraq. The scenery of the installation resembling a stage set recalls a colourful Third World market. However, it is here that arms are trafficked. As soon as the visitor approaches the installation, the arms fall into line for machine-driven ballet scenes, while the Stars and Stripes on the wall perform a symbolic dance. These sarcastic and malicious showpieces are accompanied by press reports on the most recent Gulf War. The market stalls represent Africa, the USA, Arabia, the Indian subcontinent and Asia. Sound collages of Strauss waltzes (an allusion to Kubrick's "2001"), Hendrix's rendition of the American national anthem and gospels mixed with sales talks between arms dealers in all languages make up the acoustic backdrop.

In Malachi Farrell's crude and grotesque installations, complex automata and robot figures, sound and motion play an important part. In his opinion, show and direct criticism are not mutually contradictory but reflect the serious tone of his artistic and political message. Another detail:


Created By: Padraig L Henry