Dorothy Cross: Irish Museum of Modern Art.
To fit this generous selection of over forty individual works, including quite a few projections, into IMMA's relatively narrow corridors and modestly scaled rooms required considerable ingenuity as well as the construction of a number of temporary walls and rooms. In this it recalled the 2002 midcareer retrospective of Cross's friend and contemporary Willie Doherty at this same venue. Crucially, the selection did equal justice to the gallery-based sculptures and videos and to the large-scale, temporary, site-specific projects that have become a more and more important part of Cross's work. (The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College recently devoted an entire exhibition to these fugitive events, which have often taken place in isolated venues.) One room housed film footage from Ghostship, a decommissioned lightship treated with phosphorescent paint that haunted Scotsman's Bay near Dublin for three weeks in 1999, and Stabat Mater, 2004, a performance of Pergolesi's impassioned eighteenth-century composition in a deserted grotto--part industrial quarry, part religious shrine--on the remote island of Valentia, off the southwest coast of Ireland. Also featured was footage from the most ambitious and accomplished of these projects, Chiasm, 1999, for which Cross stitched together selections from ten Romantic operas, sung in French, German, Italian, Russian, and English. The resulting hybridized duet, an intense aural patchwork of heartrending love and loss, was sung by a tenor and soprano in two disused outdoor handball alleys divided by a wall that blocked each singer from the other's view. This sense of dramatic disorientation was heightened further by flooding the floor of each alley with projected images of the roiling waters of a sea pool known as Poll na bPeist, The Worm's Hole, which lies at the foot of the cliffs of Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands.
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|Author:||Mac Giolla Leith, Caoimhin|
|Article Type:||Critical Essay|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2005|
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