Exhibition preview: 6-8pm Thursday 10th October 2019
Exhibition continues: Friday 11th October 2019 – Saturday 26th October 2019
Gallery open: 12-6pm Thursday – Saturday
Pallas Projects/Studios are pleased to present Jonathan Mayhew—The wind steals music & brings it to me the ninth exhibition of our 2019 Artist-Initiated Projects programme.
It’s been a while but I was just remembering the last time we met, at your place, it was afternoon, almost. Perusing your bookshelves, a habit of mine, I was looking for what I knew and what I didn’t. It’s nice to see the bits of your life you collected there, new and old books, records, objects and things, old snapshots from the past. I started thinking about all these things we accumulate on shelves and how interesting they are, books for one, but also memoires held in objects. You had a collection of white shells from a holiday 3 years ago from a beech you’d been to. They sat there next to a book about why we sleep and a Philip K. Dick novel, Ubik. These odd combinations of ideas and thoughts in some way build an image of us, or well shape us in the way we think and see the world or how it might become.
It was then you told me about that Japanese word ‘Tsundoku’, a wonderful word that describes all those unread books that we all have piled near us or that stare out from full shelves waiting. Just as the word in Japanese for disaster is the same for opportunity, there’s endless potential in the unread for your imagination, to dream of what could possibly be held within the pages of these books. A little line or two on a back cover or the image on the front can send our imaginations wild. I told you that my bookseller friend, Phyllis Cohen, had said that Penguin books smell different to others. Something to do with the different ink and paper stocks they use. When books come into her shop in Paris she likes to smell them. Memories of past lives blur with the inky fictions of the page. The smell of memories can send us places we’ve forgotten we’ve been, maybe memories not even our own, those we’ve seen on teevee blurred with the real one and melded in our heads.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how fiction and reality are blurring together more and more. Fake news and alternative facts are sadly commonplace. Whatever we here first becomes a ‘truth’ even if it’s not. Karen told us later about Joan Didion and how she said ‘we tell ourselves stories in order to live…’ we seem to need a narrative to make sense of the chaotic world we live in, but now with so much of the world at our finger tips and so many voices blaring at us, who’s stories are real and who’s are fictions? How do we measure things? Good and Bad? Facts and opinions are not always the same thing. We need good gatekeepers, those not being evil, to allow us to access ways of thinking and looking to improve the future. You had that Didion book, ‘The White Album’ unread on your shelf when we met; it was waiting, or maybe it was there just to let your dreams fly before you cracked the spine. You’ll have to wait a little longer though as I borrowed it and still haven’t read it. But its potential is still there ready to lead you on a journey to possible futures.
Like a bookshelf full of ideas, stories and memoires the works in this exhibition will come and go during the run of the show, new pieces will replace others, adding to or removing to make space and new connections. Readings is an ongoing project in which I explore the world through the lens of literature and poetry. We live in an age where we have access to everything at our fingertips 24/7 and yet with all this knowledge, truth & fiction are starting to blur together. Information has become increasingly important and everything now is generating or collecting it. I’m very interested in how narrative in our Web 2.0 world has become incredibly important to our everyday lives. I’m interested in how technology changes us, and how we in turn change it. The writer Georges Perec once asked, ‘what’s happening, when nothing is happening?’ but nothing is never not happening now. Technology was meant to free us, but it seems we have less and less time. In some ways, I want to escape this reality by offering a more poetic one in its place.
Jonathan Mayhew (b. 1981) is an Irish artist based in Dublin. Using poetry, literature, technology and theory, he manipulates physical and invisible materials creating works in a variety of media. He is interested in how narrative in our Web 2.0 world has become incredibly important to our everyday lives, fiction is blured into reality. He is also interested in how technology changes us, and how we in turn change it. Recent Exhibitions include: Agnès and I at Black Church Print Studios, Dublin; Dearly Beloved… at Visual Carlow; HIAP Spring Open 2019, HIAP, Helsinki; digital_self, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2018; Zurich Portrait Prize 2018, National Galley of Ireland; The stars turn and a time presents itself, Risør Kunstpark, Norway, 2018; Sørlandsutstillingen, Kristiansand Kunsthall, Norway, 2017; I Wanted to Write a Poem, Wexford Arts Centre, 2017, where he was the 2015 EVA award winner. TBG+S and HIAP International Residency Exchange recipient 2019. Upcoming exhibitions Scafold a three person show at the Bomb Factory in London curated by Séamus McCormack 22rd Oct 2019.
The artist would like to thank HIAP, TBG&S and The Arts Council of Ireland for their generous support in developing and making work for this exhibition.
Artist-Initiated Projects at Pallas Projects/Studios is an open-submission, annual gallery programme of 10 x 3-week exhibitions taking place between March and November 2019, in the context of a gallery space with a dedicated tradition towards the professional development of artists in a peer-led, supportive environment. This unique programme of funded, artist-initiated projects selected via open call is highly accessible to artists, with a focus on early career, emerging artists and recent graduates. Projects are supplemented with artists' talks, texts, workshops or performances, and gallery visits by colleges and local schools.
Artist-Initiated Projects aims to act as an incubator for early careers, and support artists' practices at crucial stages, providing a platform for artists to produce and exhibit challenging work across all art forms. The model of short-run exhibitions with a relatively short turnaround time of 3–6 months is an alternative to the normal institutional model, where the process of studio visit to exhibition can take several years. Shorter lead-in times allow the programme to be quick and responsive, reflect what artists are currently making, and encourage experimentation and risk-taking.
Pallas Projects/Studios Artist-Initiated Projects is funded by The Arts Council.