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Dennis McNulty, b.1970

I reached inside myself through time2015

Texts, written and sung, anchor “I reached inside myself through time” (2015), a multi-media installation work by Dennis McNulty specially commissioned for the group exhibition LIAF 2015: Disappearing Acts, curated by Matt Packer and Arne Skaug Olsen. McNulty’s installation has its origins in a chance encounter with an autographed image of Morten Harket, singer with Norwegian pop band A-ha, while on a site visit to Svolvær, a town in the remote and rugged Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway where LIAF (Lofoten International Art Festival) takes place biannually.

An acapella of A-ha’s smash hit “The sun always shines on TV”, lyrics split and meanings mutated, is employed as material in “I reached inside myself through time”. Harket’s singing voice journeys unaccompanied through the dry-docks, tunnels and sports halls of Lofoten’s childhoods and workdays before finally spilling into the gallery’s reflective geometries.

“Believe me, the mirror’s sending me through time.”

Meanwhile, text spools continuously from a horizon-line bisecting a screen-object suspended from above. Harvested from sci-fi writer Olaf Stapledon’s wildly ambitious plan for his novel ”Last and First Men” (1930), these words and phrases plot a time-line spanning billions of years from EARTH FORMED to SECOND SOLAR CATASTROPHE.

In an exhibition space reconfigured by McNulty to resemble something akin to a geological remnant built of foil-backed plasterboard and other common building materials, Harket’s embodiment of a specific global pop-cultural moment and Stapledon’s geological and cosmic time-scales rhyme with and repel each other. Time telescopes backwards and forwards from this place, deforming and destabilising any sense of the present.

MediumTexts from Olaf Stapledon's timeline for Last and First Men, an acapella recording of Morten Harket's vocals for The sun always shines on TV sourced on-line, True Type (digital) rendering of the Futura font by Paul Renner, high resolution impulse response recordings made in various spaces in the Lofoten islands, Reaper DAW with convolution reverb plug-in, Feonic audio-actuators, stereo amplifier, 2 Raspberry-Pi computers running Raspbian, Openframeworks open source toolkit, programming, modified LCD screen, Arduino Uno with 2.8" TFT display, anti-static bag, aluminium profiles, cables, cable glands, nuts, bolts, screws, wood, webbing, ratchet-straps, plasterboard, plastic window film, black carpet and adhesive.
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection, 2016
Item NumberIMMA.4005
Copyright © Dennis McNulty | Image courtesy of the artist.
For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
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Image Caption
Dennis McNulty, I reached inside myself through time, 2015, Texts from Olaf Stapledon's timeline for Last and First Men, an acapella recording of Morten Harket's vocals for The sun always shines on TV sourced on-line, True Type (digital) rendering of the Futura font by Paul Renner, high resolution impulse response recordings made in various spaces in the Lofoten islands, Reaper DAW with convolution reverb plug-in, Feonic audio-actuators, stereo amplifier, 2 Raspberry-Pi computers running Raspbian, Openframeworks open source toolkit, programming, modified LCD screen, Arduino Uno with 2.8" TFT display, anti-static bag, aluminium profiles, cables, cable glands, nuts, bolts, screws, wood, webbing, ratchet-straps, plasterboard, plastic window film, black carpet and adhesive., Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection, 2016

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Dennis McNulty b.1970

Dennis McNulty makes video works, sound works and installations, and in recent years, has produced a number of complex multi-layered performance works. His work is conceptual and research driven and often draws on aspects of cinema, sculpture, sound and performance to create hybrid forms.
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