Aoife Collins

The notion of multiplicity is salient within my work, a substantial proportion of pieces revolve around existing materials, substances, and structures transferring them into new configurations. Close attention is played to the ability of objects to role-play. This use of role-play or mutability, away from intended functionality, is an attempt to open up the realm of possibility. Concepts concerning the real and the possible are central. A great deal of my work consists of reassemblage; form and function are not considered final but rather can be altered and are open to suggestion. In certain respects some of the imagery and objects can be seen as a form of bricolage, in that a means of permutation causes a displacement or destabilizing effect. It is this instigation of instability, which is paramount as it means a type of dislocation can occur. This dislocation or subversion increases the perceived range of analogy.

The imagery that is used often has a sense of absurdity whilst retaining a sense of verisimilitude. Humour plays a similar role, keeping as well as alienating the comfort of the viewer in that a punch line is infrequently provided. Across my work but particularly with video, there is no sense of stasis but rather movement. In fact the imagery can be quite nonsensical, inane and repetitious. This is analogous to the status connotations and inferred meanings associated with cultural paraphernalia. This overlap or slippage of imagery is used to reflect the fluidity of culture including our appetite for stimulation and mass identification.

The notion of leakage is reiterated by the stylistic disunity, which is displayed in the work in a style akin to pick and mix, or potpourri.

A recent body of work uses literal transference of textual material into pictorial form as a means to explore the communication continuum. There is also an exploration of authority figures. Within the work there is an exploration of authenticity, and stereotypes concerning the avant-garde. Representation is central to my practice, both as originating from the picture plane/pictorial representation paradigm within art but also in its relationship to fashion and the cultivation of a public persona. This entails archetypes concerning artists and artistic production. The non-specificity of objects and identities are used as an exploration of commodity fetishism. A number of works reference self-definition and its relationship to cultural artefacts.

There is a questioning of the notion of representation hence issues of transference, translation, rendering, picturing, are also engaged with. “So what if a piece of wood discovers it is a violin.” — Arthur Rimbaud (1871). Within my work there is some form of interrogation surrounding notions of the ‘real’, ‘imaginary’ and symbolic, alongside an engagement with clichés surrounding notions of inside outside. There is a strong element of fakery thus engaging with the elasticity of representation.