EMER O'BRIEN - Return to Normal

31 May 2012 – 18 Aug 2012

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 100, D3
  • Wapping, Shadwell
  • Wapping, Shadwell

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CHRISTIAN FERREIRA AT THE WAPPING PROJECT is pleased to announce Return to Normal, the second solo presentation at the gallery by London-based artist Emer O'Brien. The exhibition consists of Barbara, an interactive sculptural piece, which visualises the relationship between sound waves and sound pressure, a live performance event and the accompanying documentation: film and sound recordings. Based on the construction of a votive table, Barbara sends the vital spark, as flame and message into the ether; transmitting the ritual of votive offerings as sound. As a concept, Barbara offers a contemplative spectacle of fire and sound by enabling direct expression through simultaneous messaging between musician, instrument and audience. Like Hermes who was the mediator between the gods, and in whom hermeneutics' etymological roots lay, Barbara is also a mediator; she is a listener and a messenger; she receives and she projects, otherwise put, she translates. Where past work detailed the recent passing of time through documentation, the primary work in this case is the performance and the projection of time through the form of an event. By asking people to gather in the form of a ritual for the performance, the work questions the role of the audience in the production of meaning. By entering into the spirit of the piece, viewers contribute to the harmony and order of the piece, and through this semblance, make contact with the ultimate source of life: energy. The installation takes the shape of two opposing screens which each show the musicians'/sound artists' performances and Barbara's translation of their input, whilst the sound recordings are broadcasted from the top of the tower, filling the 17-meter high space with sound. Barbara will be positioned in the middle of the space, still. Emer O'Brien was born in 1974 in Dublin, Ireland and now lives and works in London. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Tower Hamlets Spring Open, Mile End Art Pavilion (2012), The Sculpture Show, Construction Gallery (2012), the DeWalvich Culture Ship (2011-2012), Peeping Tom (2010-2011), Wall of Light, Standpoint Gallery (2010), Turning the Season, The Wapping Project (2009), PRAGUE BIENNALE 2, Narondni Galerie V Praze (2005) and East End Academy, The Whitechapel Gallery, 2004. Solo exhibitions include Run Run Run, CHRISTIAN FERREIRA at The Wapping Project (2010), Immiscibility, The School of Arts Commission for City University London (2009) and Journeys into a Bright World, FERREIRA PROJECTS (2008).

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