Conor McFeely: Hidden Dips 19 Aug – 24 Sep 2005
MCAC is proud to present ‘Hidden Dips’ an installation by Conor Mc Feely, one of Northern Ireland’s most interesting installation and video artists. Through the use of three-dimensional works, video projection, ultraviolet light and mixed media Mc Feely has created an environment where both meaning and irony co-exist. Although the overall installation is made up of a series of disparate elements they are all interrelated, constructed together as a single unit. A common theme running throughout the show is one of parallel meanings. There are two roads, two ways of seeing, two leaves of conceptual creative processes as well as multiple meanings.
The term ‘Hidden Dips’ is derived from existing traffic signs that warn motorists of invisible depressions and hollows in the road ahead. This relates to the video element of the show, which contains footage of unapproved border roads between the North and the Republic of Ireland, i.e. it is illegal to drive on them. This warning can be read both metaphorically and literally which in turn emphasises the concept of the show where the viewer is presented with the choice of just seeing what is on the surface or to look at what lies beneath.
The notion of conceptually ‘unapproved’ or no go areas are echoed in certain spaces in Craigavon, therefore connecting and making the show more relevant for local viewers while also being a universal theme.
The experience of the work is accessible on various levels not least the aesthetic. And while its intent is serious, at its centre lies an absurdist humour. This again underlines the parallel meanings presented. This is most prominent with the footage of Mc Feely himself (via the use of video post-production) endowed with the power to transmit lightning bolts of energy from a comically enlarged head. The images are broken up by glimpses of the Third Reich that conjure up both feelings of dread and the ridiculous. The video works along parallel lines with the concept of man striving for the power of the superman. Mc Feely also uses photographic images of the Mount Matterhorn in the Pennine Alps, Switzerland, which is associated with both romanticism and fascism again referring to the parallel meaning paradox of ‘Hidden Dips’.