Museum Thursday- Bart O’Reilly: Old Lines from the Luminous State

It’s back It’s back.  Museum Thursday, which was on hiatus last week due to paper writing mayhem, is back and in full force.  I feel energized and ready to finish off this semester with a bang.  One in which I hope will end in the procurement of a certain internship from a certain Irish arts center… we shall see!

So in honor of my new-found direction to all things Irish (well perhaps not new-found, but certainly re introduced) this weeks #MT post will be on Solas Nua’s exhibition at Flashpoint Gallery. Bart O’Reilly: Old LInes from the Luminous State explores the deterioration of our infrastructure.  The show is rather small, as the space is rather small.  For those who have not been to Flashpoint the gallery is a single room space.  The exhibition uses farms and highways and the tools with which they are created to portray a sense of decay and deterioration.  The first images you are presented are photographs of an old barn, falling apart.  In these images there is a long piece of paper that moves throughout the building.  As you walk through the entrance past the photographs you realize that the long strip along the wall is the same piece of paper that is shown in the photographs.

The parchment is covered in rust stains and footprints, dirt and grease.  On the ground is sawdust and wood pieces.  The artist asks the viewer to engage in the piece by not moving around the pile of rubble “creating a visual record of each person to visit the space and demonstrating the interaction between humans and nature over time.”

The “tools” used are actually the rusty imprints of nails, paint cans, and abstract looking outlines that give the viewer a sense that something was laid there and over time left a shadow of what was.  As you look closer at the piece you can see a glittering luminous sheen to the parchment.  Likely created by the brushing about of rust imprints.  But it creates a beautiful luster to the work that might otherwise appear dirty or unimportant.

Along the back wall is a video image that changes and shifts as you stand in the middle of a sawdust pile in front of it.  The images are very subtle and almost hard to discern any change at all until you step farther away and realize what you initially saw has changed while you didn’t quite realize it.  I believe it was to further exemplify the deterioration of things.

Finish your walk around the room with another wall with another long piece of parchment, this is covered in grease and dirt rather than the rust and dirt.  This piece is also more textural and almost fluid, with the paper crumpled more so than the first line of parchment which lies almost flat against the wall.

Intermixed with these parchment pieces the artist has drawn straight onto the wall of the space.  This drawing is still abstract but follows the flow and feel of the rest of the show.

This is a quick show to walk through, I think I may have taken a maximum of 2o minutes to walk through the whole space.  But the smallness allows you the opportunity to see everything in that short amount of time and to reflect upon it as you do so.

The show runs through May 8th so if you want to check it out you’ve got about a week left.  I would recommend it.

Happy Museum Thursday everyone!


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