With Spooky Action at a Distance, Helen Hughes, Barbara Knezevic and Vanessa Donoso López were invited to respond to Monster Truck’s new Temple Bar gallery space. The artists were selected for the strength of their individual practice, the particular ability to engage with and respond to the specifics of the gallery environment, as well as the team’s belief that collectively they could produce a synergistic show for our new gallery.
Artistic endeavour worth getting excited about is typically experimental and pieces, exhibitions and practices are often referred to as laboratories. Barbara Knezevic’s exhibitions can however – perhaps more accurately than most – be described in this way for more specific reasons: those of her clinical aesthetic and the probing, scientific nature in how she presents materials to the viewer. However, while scientific conclusions take patience, Knezevic’s work does not require it, but rather, its subtle analysis warrants inspection at any stage along the way till close, inspiring expectations of potential outcomes. Helen Hughes utilizes both found objects and an array of purchased industrial products in her practice. Like an inventor tinkering in their workshop, she throws away the instruction book – end-product finishing points of manufactured goods are Hughes’ start point. Such material lacks historical or emotional connotations and in this way may be employed as a pure set of building blocks. Wonderfully irreverent trials and examinations abound in the work of Vanessa Donoso López. A collector of curios, she crafts hybrid creations that seem to belong to some parallel Victorian universe. In our world, facts become hazy and these objects appear to be offering proof of unspecified theories, of foggy notions.
There exists between the individual artists’ practice a certain entanglement of method: thoughtful, yet irreverent trials in the utilization of both found objects and purchased materials, exploited for means beyond their intended design and sculptural experiments carrying imbued psychological connotations.