Duo Exhibition featuring Kevin Gaffney, Far from the reach of the sun, 23:12 m and John Conway, Object Im/permanence.
“Far from the reach of the sun” Projection video
Far from the reach of the sun (23mins 13sec, 4K Video, 2018) is set in a near future where a government- approved drug can alter your sexuality, allowing you to be satisfied in ways that were not previously in your nature. The corporation marketing the drug targets vulnerable gay people who have checked into a cruising resort which doubles as a correctional facility. Advertisements present the pill as a party drug for wealthy straight customers who have burned out the experience economy: “come take pleasure in marginalized sexual experiences without affecting your personality.”
Coded with references to pseudo-medical practices such as gay conversion therapy (which attempts to turn people straight, causing psychological problems for an already vulnerable minority), the film reflects on the church and medical profession’s history of interfering with the lives of LGBT/queer people. Incorporating archival footage of a gay & lesbian run church in Manchester in the 1990s, we hear accounts of exorcisms and suicide attempts. The indifference of priests and doctors to these young people’s lives is symptomatic of the church, state and medical community’s treatment of LGBT people historically.
Far from the reach of the sun revolves around the protagonists sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings; tumultuous worlds at odds with the power structures surrounding them. The film reflects on the effects of isolation and homophobia on a queer person’s relationship with themselves and others, and the plethora of stereotypes and contradictory messages that queer people navigate daily.
Object Im/permanence is a suite of 6 works originally exhibited in Pallas/Project Studios in May/June 2021, which are programmed to switch on and off one at a time, for a minimum of 5 seconds and a maximum of 40 seconds. These works will be most effective at night in an exposed space, where viewers will have to adjust their eyes to making out each text which is suddenly illuminated strongly from behind, before the lights blink off, leaving a lasting visual impression on their vision. The works require 2 mains power sockets to accommodate the timer programming. They are not suitable for outdoors. I am open to exhibiting a selection of the works, or one, or all.
The set of work ultimately invites us to consider legacy: What we have inherited as a culture and as individuals, what we mean to pass on, what we hope not to, and the culture and society into which this is bequeathed.