irene rogan

Sideshow 2010 Body in Pieces Woodthorpe, Nottingham

Immersive installation

Rogan's installation sees her exploring new ways of working. The title 'Body in Pieces' references Nochlin's (1) analysis of the 'fragment as a metaphor for modernity' an age in which the individual is constantly migrant, uprooted from home, family and community; in which the intimate narratives of private life-worlds are increasingly internalised, the actor constructing sense of self relationally through giving, receiving, through love and loss, is constantly in the process of reconstruction. This mobility creates a prevailing sense of nostalgic yearning, of homelessness in which the individual seeks belonging, permanence and construction as whole, as existing or having identity.

Thus this work exploits the whole space, surrounding the audence with an installation that explores the idea of identity in terms of 'wholeness' or connectedness in which disconnection is articulated as fragmentary. Fragments are used symbolically throughout this work. Delicate tissue paper forms, taken from commercial dress patterns - immediately both anonymous but intimate, have a skin like appearance and are hung from the ceiling. One wall surface which is untreated plasterwork is covered in a linear pattern of drawings, each one like a hieroglyph representing a fragment of the artist's body. More tissue pattern fragments are attached to the wall above the drawings. Another wall is festooned with gilt and glazed picture frames in which the image is conspicuously absent whilst on the floor are small mounds of gold coloured dust.

The wall drawings are reminiscent of human mark-making (of demonstrating presence or existence) across time from cave painting to fresco etc. whilst the picture frames remind the viewer of casual arrangements of family photographs; of narratives in which identities are constructed and cherished. The gold dust appears at first incidental, a trace, and yet ambiguous, the permanence of the metal set against the ephemeral condition of dust.
Paul Wilson 2010

Body in Pieces Group Exhibition

Pauline Lucas review

gold dust 1

(1) Linda Nochlin - ‘The Body in Pieces- The fragment as a metaphor for modernity’

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