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Aleana Egan, Áine Mac Giolla Bhríde, Dennis McNulty, & Conor O'Sullivan

The Depot

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The Complex presents newly commissioned site-specific work by Aleana Egan, Áine Mac Giolla Bhríde, Dennis McNulty and Conor O’Sullivan in the Ground Floor Gallery, a repurposed warehouse originally used for the ripening of bananas. The exhibition is the third in The Complex’s programme for 2021 entitled “Nature echoes Reality, Artifice echoes Fiction'' where artists are invited to consider the gallery’s architecture and context when creating new works.

The curators invited the four artists into a conversation through site visits, Zoom and Signal messages that began around the chemical compound ethylene, which is used to escalate the ripening process of bananas once found in the fridges that filled the Gallery of The Complex. Ethylene is omnipresent and is the basis for many of the world’s most in-demand materials that make up our everyday equipment, from digital technologies to mundane material furnishings.

These artists were selected based on their use of familiar materials which can awaken deeply submerged  memories or repressed feelings. And following a dialogue that evolved from leaked photos of Cathy Wilkes’s recent show in BQ Berlin to topics like Ford’s shortage of microchips, Elizabeth Price’s video ‘THE CHORUS  AND THEIR MEMORY’, and the invention of the ‘RediRipe Sticker’ - “a new way to measure maturity in fruit” - the exhibition title 'Feeling of Knowing' was proposed, eliciting a sense of conviction that one possesses  certain information despite being unable to retrieve it from memory at a given time.

In the study of metamemory, Feeling of Knowing (FOK) judgments refer to the predictions an individual makes of being able to retrieve specific information (i.e., regarding his or her knowledge for a specific subject) and, more specifically, whether that knowledge exists within the person's memory. In this sense the works in the exhibition could be considered mnemonic devices, aiding our memories as we create a narrative. The following are excerpts from the conversation between the artists and curators during the development of the exhibition: 

   This text hit me in the stomach a bit.

   Having a gut feeling…Maybe the feeling of knowing is located in the gut?

   Good vibes…only half-joking

   Tip of the tongue phenomenon 

   Hate is a very strong emotion, you should think about them a bit more

   FOK...Surely in some way it’s an artistic working method too? 


While each artist's work remains specific to their own practices and perspectives, they come together in this exhibition, experimenting with the notion of FOKs, as well as the idea of ‘Unthought known’, a phrase developed by psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas in the 1980s to represent those experiences in some way known to the individual, but about which the individual is unable to think. The unthought known stands for the early patterns of thought for interpreting the object world, or the preverbal, early experience that may determine one’s behaviour subconsciously. 


The artworks created for this exhibition display a fascination with materiality, industrialisation and architectural histories. Assemblages of (almost) recognisable objects create a visual exploratory essay which the viewers own metamemory will aid in reading.


This webpage presents excerpts from conversations taken from a group Signal chat between the artists, directly relating to the title of the exhibition, 'Feeling of Knowing'. This text is followed by a series of imagery, also taken from the signal chat, which describes a visual back and forth between the artists during the lead up to the exhibition, providing an abstract insight into the development of the exhibition.


“Aleana Egan creates abstract sculptures that are assembled in multi-layered constellations. Materials such as  metal, wood, pigment, and fabric refer to their own properties, while also remaining indeterminate. In this  ambiguity, the objects evoke immaterial moments—ideas, thoughts, feelings, moods, energies, and  relationships both towards each other as well as interpersonal. Manifested in form, the internal is turned  outwards. Translated into sculptural gestures, latent allusions are made visible, and the processual shifts into  focus” Melissa Canbaz, 2021Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include Void Gallery, Derry (2022); small field Künstlerhaus Bremen  (2021); New People, Konrad Fischer Gallery, Dusseldorf (2020); Shadowy Forms, NICC Vitrine, Brussels  (2020); and Spitze, Farbvision, Berlin (2019). Selected group exhibitions include Yuugen, CCA Andratx  (2022); , The Museum of Ancient History, University College Dublin (2020/2021); from narrow provinces,  Cample Line, Thornhill (2019); staring forms, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin (2019); and Aleana  Egan/Pearl Blauvelt, Mary Mary, Glasgow (2018). 

Áine Mac Giolla Bhríde is an Irish artist working in sculpture and photographic form. Recent exhibitions include and/or  land - EVA International 2020; ~set - mother's tankstation London (2019); work suite - mother's tankstation  Dublin (2018); and habitat hq - an off-site Douglas Hyde project which responded to the brutalist architectural  space of the Arts Building via situated sculptural forms (2017). Upcoming work will be shown at The Douglas  Hyde Gallery; mother's tankstation Dublin and The Complex. Recent residencies include - The Foundation  Boghossian, Brussels; FLACC, Genk; and The Darkroom, Dublin. McBride is an artist at Fire Station Artist  Studios and is represented by mother's tankstation Dublin | London. 

Dennis McNulty is an artist, music-maker and engineer from Ireland. His work is informed by his  background in electronic music, his training as a structural engineer and his studies in psychoacoustics (sound  perception). McNulty works across a variety of media on both sides of the computer screen to produce large scale physical objects, media assemblages, software and live work. He often draws on the context of the  buildings he exhibits in, modifying and intervening in their spatial narratives. His work has been exhibited widely and is currently on show as part of Light and Language at Lismore Castle  Arts. Recent projects include We Dream in Actions, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2020); Everything is  Somewhere Else, Paper Visual Art (2020); TTOPOLOGY at Grazer Kunstverein and VISUAL, Carlow (2018);  anginging, Assembly Point, London (2018); Homo Gestalt at Bluecoat, Liverpool Biennial (2016). Previous  exhibitions include LIAF 2015: Disappearing Acts, Lofoten International Art Festival, Svolvaer (2015); A Leisure  Complex, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh/ Carnoustie (2014); PROTOTYPES, Limerick City Gallery of Art  (2014); Performa 11 (2011), Encuentro de Medellin (2007) and the São Paulo Bienal (2008 and 2004). In 2019 McNulty initiated BETWEEN MACHINES, a project that is concerned with developing niche  technologies for electronic musicians. He is a co-founder the Orthogonal Methods Group at CONNECT,  Ireland’s research centre for future networks and communications.

Conor O’Sullivan is a visual artist based in Dublin. His practice encompasses sculpture, collected material,  image making and installation. The work investigates ideas of place, labour, exchange, infrastructure and the  corporeal. Recent exhibitions include Sideways Movement and Other Attempts on the Boundary (2019), Goethe Institute, Recalling Familiar Entities (2018), Basic Space + 126 Gallery, Galway.  


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