De SELBY

 

'-It would be impossible for me, he explained, to give you gentlemen who have no scientific training, even a glimpse into my studies and achievements in pneumatic chemistry. My work has taken up the best part of a life-time and, though assistance and co-operation were generously offered by men abroad, they could not master my fundamental postulate: namely, the annihilation of the atmosphere.' Flann O'Brien

Contemporary art. De Selby, Flann O' Brien, Ireland, Printmaking, print, Religion, Photomontage, Collage, interior organs, devine intervention.

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In the Anatomy Lesson (2011) the figure adopts the dual positions of both the anatomy lecturer and the subject of the lecture - the dissected corpse - at one and the same time. Contained within the body of the figure (and below the surface of the photograph) are assembled the organs that make this curious phenomenon possible. Composed of dried plant parts, a glass phial and broken rosary beads, the internal workings convey that this “talking anatomical specimen” occupies a middle ground of reality. The broken surface is not only made graphically and physically manifest, it is alluded to by the subject as he points to the inside of his own body and to the reality contained therein. The spectral layer of the photograph is broken and the photographed subject is implicated in the process. In this work reality is instigated by the image and reality is restored in the image. The subject (the anatomy lecturer) plays with reality (in defiance of his image form) and interacts with the actual contents of (his body) the work. The relation of the viewer to the photograph and its subject matter is a central proposition of these works.  The reaction to the image acknowledges the form of reality contained within the photograph.   The photograph presents its emulsion (its laminated surface) for inspection. For once it is the photograph that we actually see. The photograph is both the subject and the object.

Contemporary Irish Printmaking.  Digital print art. Visual art Ireland. Reflexivity in contemporary art.
Reflexivity and contemporary art.  Self reflexive art.

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Peter Paul Rubens. The dead talk.
Holding conversation.  Speaking after death.

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