Artists Statement by Seamus O’Rourke
The destruction of Art is a cultural atrocity perpetuated during recurring centuries from the Iconoclasm of the Reformation( 15th & 16th Centuries Europe) to the burning purges by the Nazi regime (1930s Germany) to the recent Jihadist vandalism ( in the Middle East and Afghanistan ) and the current nefarious misuse of IT, globally. The desire to crush and debase the culture of a rival appears to remain inherent in the human psyche. The optimism of early Modernism has dissolved under the onslaught of 20th Century turmoil and cynicism. Abstraction has survived the hostilities of totalitarian rule and pernicious commercialism to create improbable possibilities. The challenge to the viewers awareness and historical sensibility by abstraction, mirrors the disparity of the past and present. This equally reflects the unlikely duality of negated self referential abstraction, with the initially oblique, but implicit dialogue and critique of Modernism and cultural atrocity.
I engage with the visibility in each work by examining the empty spaces left behind following cultural redaction. These vacant spaces examine and question what is visible, and what is absent.
What is instant and immediately visible in appearance, can seem untrustworthy – not unlike the apparatus of power in repressive regimes. The ever prevailing tension between creativity and destruction permeates an unsettling entente between the barely discernible and erasure.