False Starts by Patrick Hough at Solstice Arts Centre, Navan
The work of Patrick Hough examines the steadily blurring line between the real and the artificial, and the increasingly intimate interplay between physical objects and their virtual counterparts. Within this exhibition, the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in Ireland, forgotten artefacts from the Hollywood Dream Factory – props and décor from abandoned film sets – take on a new life as precious mementoes of cinema history: replicas and fakes that have acquired a strange kind of authenticity. Moving fluently between definitions and across formal boundaries, his work makes us look again at the uncertain nature of what we think we know and see. Central to the exhibition is the artist’s most recent film, And If In A Thousand Years, originally commissioned for the 2017 Jerwood/FVU Awards: Neither One Thing or Another. Merging CGI animation, laser scanning and live action footage, the film takes the viewer to an excavation site in California where the remains of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 film-set for The Ten Commandments was recently uncovered by archaeologists. Untethered from its ruined plasterwork body, a CGI Sphinx now stalks the landscape – a digital ghost of the original film set décor in search of identity and purpose. Exhibition is on view until 26 October 2018.