Anna Stuart is an Irish artist currently based in Dublin. Her practice explores time and the intersection between human control and chance, often taking the form of sculptural ‘living works’ which evolve over their lifetime. She has exhibited her work both in Ireland and abroad, recently exhibiting in solo show Entropy (2021) at Tasku Galleria, Helsinki as well as taking part in group shows such as Propositions (2022), Peripheries in Parallax (Aalto University, 2021), Tuntemattomat, (University of the Arts, Helsinki, 2020) and New Translations (IADT student exhibition at IMMA, 2019).
Encompassing a variety of media, this body of work is the visual exploration of a philosophy where parameters rather than outcomes are set for works. At times entirely influenced by their environment, these works evolve and offer a visual exploration into themes of existential time and the consequences of when the human and non-human meet.
This methodology has taken many forms, including the exploration of the alchemic qualities of minerals such as salt, as well as the fabrication of a portable, experiential helmet that requires the participant to inhabit it to activate the potential for an ‘open present’.
Driving this body of work is my fascination with time, legacy and the potential of the open work. Through a combination of chance and ‘planned’ chance, these works have the potential to evolve, and result in newly reformed environments, existing on the periphery of this world and another.
A multi layered and experiential phenomenon, time can be seen as being a relatively underexplored medium in the history of art. Confined to the linear and rational measurement of the clock, it is a subject which has been defined using numbers and in turn, provided man with a triumphant yet worryingly one-dimensional understanding. From the absolute and linear model provided by Newton to more recent theories, time has formed and reformed. A word which infiltrates our lives and vocabulary on an incessant basis, ‘time’ cannot be precisely defined, making it clear that if we know anything for certain about this seemingly familiar phenomenon, it is that we still know very little.
Countering this purely analytical and narcistic perspective of time held from the point of view of man, Pierre Huyghe is an artist who offers an other understanding. His works often take the form of events and scenarios which evolve within a set of parameters, functioning not as places of resolution but rather ‘departure points’ for further possibilities.
By examining Pierre Huyghe’s Untitled (Human Mask), The Third Memory and Untilled, I aim to identify various temporalities which are seen in his work, temporalities that have been allowed to occur naturally and ones which have been manipulated. I also seek to demonstrate how and why Huyghe’s contribution is relevant today, not just in terms of art, but in understanding this complex phenomenon from a new, other point of view.