Allan Hughes - 31 August to 12 October 2012
Belfast Exposed is pleased to present new work, Enemy Blue by Allan Hughes. Enemy Blue is a three screen synchronised video installation that explores the failure of video to articulate politicised historical narratives. Despite the proliferation of digital high-definition technologies, our access to and experience of the wider world has been increasingly mediated through ‘poor’ images. Hand held camera-phones, transcoded archive footage, surveillance footage and low-res streams proliferate the political landscape. Regardless of their lack of information or detail, the ‘low grade’ aesthetic of these images has become associated with ideas of authenticity and truth. Hughes’ new work examines the mutable nature of video and its place in relation to propaganda and remediation through a narrative on ‘friendly fire’.
Enemy Blue conflates material from a number of sources, namely, Edward Hunter’s “Analyses of Jane Fonda Activities in North Vietnam”, a Committee report to the United States House of representatives “Misleading Information from the Battlefield: the Tillman and Lynch episodes” and Gerhard Richter’s published notes on political ideology. The work is developed through the production of a series of purposefully graded video segments entitled Enemy Blue, Chromatic Aberration, Geisterbilder and Blue On Blue. The grading processes transform the image sequences into false historical documents and identify video as a mutable medium subject to manipulation. Enemy Blue explores the inherent propagandist character of video; the ways in which it causes a transformation of narrative and is itself subject to transformation by narrative.
Allan Hughes is an artist based in Belfast. His video installation work explores the production of remediated histories through the deconstruction of post-production processes. Hughes’ works usually proceeds from research into the sites, documents and apparatus of recorded and remediated histories. His installations have touched on many subjects including Jane Fonda's Radio Hanoi Broadcasts, the decommissioned British Army listening post at Black Mountain in Belfast, the recording of Patty Hearst's S.L.A. Communiqués and the erased portions of Richard Nixon's Watergate Tapes. His works examine the precarious position of subjectivity within the constructed narratives of history and the processes of their representation and reception, acknowledging that his subjects are events, people and places that have been fictionalised as much as they have been reconstructed and recounted. Hughes unpacks the processes of remediation through a deconstruction of production methodologies and establishes a place that privileges listening and the rediscovery of subjective and heterogeneous positions within reconstructed histories.
The last year has seen exhibitions of his work at the Belltable Art Centre, Limerick, where he had a solo exhibition and as a part of Temple Bar Gallery’s “Lights, Camera, Action!”. His work was included in the 2011 Tulca Arts Festival and Rencontres Internationales at the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in Berlin, Pompidou Centre in Paris & the Filmoteca Espanol in Madrid. In 2010 he was awarded the ACNI Major artist award and in 2009 he was the recipient of a six-month Artist’s Residency Programme at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally with work shown in the Mediations Biennale in Poznan Poland, UNOACTU in Dresden, the Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast and the Beursschouwburg in Brussels amongst others. In 2010 he completed a PhD, "Screening The Voice: synchronisation, authority & objet petit a", at the University of Ulster under Professors Willie Doherty and Kerstin Mey.
Allan Hughes will give a talk on Thursday 30 August at 6.30pm.
Enemy Blue supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Department of Social Development.