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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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Transition is a passage from one state to another.  There is not, as yet, a finished outcome which we can relate to.  Building-sites interest me for their in-between state of construction and deconstruction.  These sites represent change and progression, the city’s prosperity traces of history and ideas about future visions.

In Military Road the image is formatted as a circle which brings focus to the linear structure we see within its circumference.  This presentation emphasizes my interests in building and the structure of the crossing lines.  The image becomes graphic, highlighting the whites of the scaffolding and the fence, some of the imagery merges with the paper while the remaining imagery pops out in abstract shapes.

The following two images Construction I&II are taken in Howth at a materials storage site for prefab building.  While the new materials wait for their end destination, they are placed in these-grid like structures which emphasises how white, clean and systematically organised they are.  Small pieces of nature have grown around them during their suspended journey.  Both prints are hung one above the other, to echo the act of construction.

Caravan Compilation is a simple construction using a minimal representation of a common building.  The resulting shapes are stacked-up, the forms are empty and fragile (mobile) homes, echoing building bricks but ones which would be unsustainable to carry their own weight.

Peel IMMA started from the idea of peeling off the faҫade of the museum from top to bottom in a continuous 360 degree motion (similar to peeling an apple).  Doing so has resulted in a representation of the building as a long strip of architectural parts and features; strips of windows, roof tiles, brickwork and a door, here and there.  In contrast to the visual iconography of The Royal Hospital Kilmainham the second piece is constructed from copies of the original architectural drawings.  Both strips of the building’s circumference used are 20cm in height and following cutting and assembling they have resulted in a 16 metre strip.  For scale purposes, IMMA is about 20 meters in height, which in theory would make a strip of 1.6 kilometres.  I have displayed both works hanging on a hook, like ropes or a strip of film.

Untitled consists of domestic materials combined to form a house.  This house is an empty space under construction where the windows are blinded to obscure the observers view from the developments inside.  The selected materials are moulded and printed with textures and shapes that simulate classical domestic environments.

In the video piece Prospect a wind-powered toy dominates the frame.  This reversed video piece was filmed at Prospect Cemetery in Glasnevin where the gifts left for loved ones, the sounds and the decorations all impressed me.  This is a different way of dealing with death to what I know from Holland.

Finally, Bored Art illustrates an institutional situation but it is difficult to tell what is going on.  The work is leaning against the wall and the brief abandonment of the piece resembles a kind of weariness that is very common with people confronted with public areas, buildings or museums, or maybe even art itself.

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About the Artist

Berndnaut Smilde

Berndnaut Smilde is interested in transitional spaces; ruins and building-sites that are in-between states of completion. This interest also branches out into the possibility of how a given space might be between states of construction and deconstruction. His daily surroundings are motives that are used to create narrative-situations, within which multiple layers of meaning collide.
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