SPECTRAL IMAGES AND URBAN FRENZY IN THE WORK OF EAMONN DOYLE

In our diverse and full of possibilities world, it is not surprising that artists explore different disciplines and jump from one speciality to another depending on the language that best suits their expressive needs at all times. This has been the story of Eamonn Doyle, to whom the Mapfre Foundation dedicates an exhibition that includes the highlights of his short but brilliant career as a photographer.

Eamonn Doyle, ON (series) nº 1, 2014 © Eamonn Doyle, courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery

Eamonn Doyle began his career in the art world with painting studies and later on photography, between 1987 and 1991. However, after some initial trips in which he tried to develop as a reporter photographer, in 1994 he left the camera and dedicated entirely to music. For twenty years he worked as an editor and music promoter, which led him to travel the world while organising festivals or recording albums. But six years ago, he decided to retake the photograph, becoming in record time one of the most recognised contemporary photographers.

His previous career, however, has an essential influence on his work. The cultural movements of the last decades, which run in parallel to music, along with his passion for literature, clearly appear in his images. In this context, his hometown, Dublin, gains a unique presence, revealing his urban life and the pulse of the new generations soaked in the socio-political context of the moment.

Eamonn Doyle, "Untitled 28", 2013, © Eamonn Doyle, courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery

One of his best-known works is the "Dublin trilogy", with the series i, ON and End. To these is added another famous project: K, focused on spectral images that the photographer took in Ireland and Spain. His work characterises by urban ambience in edged frames that force the viewer's point of view. The absence of straight cuts, the abundance of angles and perspective cuts convey a constant sense of activity and movement.

That same movement is present in the K series, where the wind appears to stir the tissues and hide the figures. This concealment game catches the characters with enveloping movements, which also generate confusion and anguish. There is a particular surreal message in these images, with faceless anthropomorphic forms on inert backgrounds of sharp contrast.

Eamonn Doyle, “K-20”, 2017

Likewise, we must highlight the constant presence of music in the photographer's work. The exhibition in the Sala Bárbara de Braganza also holds a video piece entitled “Made in Dublin”, in which sound plays an important role. Doyle has continued to collaborate regularly with composer David Donohoe, whose pieces are an integral part of many of his works such as the K series or his video creations.

Bárbara de Braganza Room (Mapfre Foundation): from September 12th to January 26th.

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.