Ciaran Kavanagh

Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork

By Máire O'Mahony

In a complex layering of conventions and art-historical references, Ciaran Kavanagh has achieved a subtle and rewarding experience for the viewer in his Degree exhibition at The Crawford Art College, Cork. Each piece in this exhibition folds neatly onto the next with indexical links to surrealism, Duchampian readymades and early cinematic experiments.

It is an installation comprising of two chambers. The first on entry reveals itself as a cluttered environment - reminiscent of a workshop, replete with hand drawn diagrams depicting perceptual instruments and ephemeral traces. The work is represented in an autodidactic and circuitous fashion; emphasising an ontological line of questioning present in Kavanagh's art practice.

The second space of the installation is darkened and theatrically lit, housing two kinetic sculptures, a wall frieze and two animations. On the main wall of this second chamber hangs the aforementioned wall frieze, comprised of a serial arrangement of wooden diptychs. Each panel inscribed with a sequential drawing of a the human figure attending to a task, which at once seems uncannily familiar and at the same time utterly strange. The artists' concerns are most succesfully expressed in the animations, whereby they illustrate and mediate issues of temporality and repetition as a generative process. Kavanagh's work addresses notions of failure, agency and the ideal, which are clearly demonstrated in a never-ending Sisyphean loop.