James McCann / MONOMANIA / The Black Mariah

James McCann / MONOMANIA / The Black Mariah

Date: 20th Jul 2013 - 27th Jul 2013
Time: Open Mon – Sat 12 – 8pm
Venue: NON MTU VENUE* read notes for details




Two things which have consistently underlined my practice are, a perversion of utility, and a non verbal communication through the disarticulation of the art object. My work derives from an instinctual sense of dialectics and allegory based on detritus, human semblance, and hierarchical systems of order in art and society.

My recent work has revolved around the adaptation and application of this allegorical and dialectical theory to describe the perversions and pervasiveness of media as collective secondary experience. I view the entirety of media as one collective construct which, like allegory, fetishism, and re occurring obsessive trauma narratives, constantly avoids definition or ‘being that which it is’. This destruction of meaning and reference forms the basis of this new series of work. As well as video projects and publications, I have also tried to manifest these ideas sculpturally with the creation of temporary physical diagrams, they serve as a cack handed, obsessive rendering in real time, of a damaged and ultimately self-destructive system of reference.

‘MONOMANIA’. A word which I first encountered in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment..The idea that an obsession with an unknown traumatic object, could manifest itself through an instinctual, impulsive making fascinates me. An interesting template is Richard Dreyfuss’ character in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. His fixation and endless renderings of an image of a mountain, are frustrated attempts to communicate an unknown idea to himself.

What is most important for me in this example, as well as the compulsive repetition of subject. Is the creation of an impulsive schematic which exists outside full comprehension even for its creator. My own work also contains a similar relation to subject, operating sometimes as a half formed metaphor. The idea of ‘MONOMANIA’ and an ‘acting out’ of thought obsessively through material experience is essentially how I view my own practice as a totality.”

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