DAN MOYNIHAN: LOST IN SPACE
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In this major new work, Melbourne artist Dan Moynihan will duplicate a local commercial gallery within the Front Gallery of Gertrude Contemporary. Lost In Space is an immersive installation that challenges the dynamics of two different buildings brought together in a speculative union. Created partly from memory, partly by covert intelligence gathering, the installation is both structural puzzle and institutional critique.
Lost In Space converges the familiar and the uncanny as the local gives way to fantasy. Moynihan brings to life his dream of a solo commercial gallery show by building the gallery himself and inviting us to enter this fantasy exhibition within an exhibition. The work, both exposing and absurd, allows Moynihan to live out an alternative reality of his artistic career in this self-reflexive rumination on the art world and its gallery spaces.
As the viewer moves through the rooms of this sweeping architectural intervention they are propelled by the suggestion of narrative. With a nod to spaces of transit encountered during a 2012 residency in Finland, Moynihan fondly recalls the unlikely splendour of public bus stops, train stations and toll-booths. Encountering these inexplicable anomalies within the gallery, we find ourselves suddenly suspended between the reality of the gallery space and a series of fictional scenarios.
A wry humour weaves through Moynihan’s practice. Whilst never afraid to reveal his internal anxieties for a laugh, Moynihan’s humour nevertheless points to the collective angst of contemporary Australia. His sculptural and installation works often begin with a one-line joke which expands into witty social critique. The target of these reflexive punch lines is both the artist himself and the audience. Drawing on Australian cultural vernacular, Moynihan employs word play, pop cultural cues, cinematic references and lashings of the everyday. A fanatical attention to detail and an eye for the unnerving instils each intricate scenario with a surreal hyperrealism. Moynihan probes our willingness to suspend disbelief and examine the sometimes dark, often comical, cultural undercurrents at play.
Dan Moynihan was born in Wollongong in 1974 and currently lives and works in Melbourne. He is a certified carpenter and has a Bachelor of Creative Arts from Wollongong University. Recent solo exhibitions include Diplomatic Immunity, Oksasenkatu 11, Helsinki (2011); It’s Not You, It’s Me, Grantpirrie Gallery, Sydney (2011); Proper Arrangements, Society, Sydney (2011);Tropicana, Grantpirrie Gallery, Sydney. Selected group exhibitions include Falling Down, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne (2012);Motion/Picture, Paramount Pictures Building, Sydney (2011); and NEW11, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2011). Moynihan is the recipient of the Australia Council Liverpool Studio Residency for 2013