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Martin Healy Last Man (2011) Courtesy of the artist and Rubicon Gallery, Dublin.
Martin Healy
Last Man (2011) Courtesy of the artist and Rubicon Gallery, Dublin.

Three Centuries of Irish Art: Crawford Art Gallery Collection
Until 30 August 2014

Martin Healy, Last Man (2011)
1–30 August 2014

Filmed in the de-commissioned Cork International Airport Terminal, Last Man (2011) portrays a janitor charged with the repressive task of maintaining the empty building. Referencing cinematic structures the film follows the janitor through, what are perceived to be, his daily tasks of checking the quality control of luggage trolley wheels and cleaning vast areas of floor. The building seems to be near functional but for the eerie lack of passengers and aircraft.

The immaculate cinematographic composition and enigmatic soundtrack creates a compelling film that draws on Healy's continued interest in early science fiction and his investigations into belief systems. The title Last Man is taken from an apocalyptic novel by Mary Shelley (1826), in which the world is decimated by a plague in the last decades of the twenty-first century. Healy echoes Shelley's indictment of man's reliance on a technological landscape and probes the collective psychological state, reflected through the isolated individual worker who nostalgically re-creates a model aeroplane during his 'down-time'. In a period when existing and new economies are consuming increasing levels of energy, Healy's film conveys a fear of the future and suggests pertinently of the need to fear the present.

Martin Healy (b. 1967) has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions including
Apposite Extravaganza: Cheating Progress, Exchange House, Galway (2012); Cutting a Door, Eastlinks Gallery, Shanghai (2012); Its all true, Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles (2011); Terminal Convention, Liverpool and Cork (2011); Spelling the Myth, The Agent Ria, Edinburgh Art Festival (2011); The Inhabitant, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin (2011) and Facsimile, Lismore Castle Arts, St Carthage Hall (2011).

Last Man (2011) Single Channel HD Video (8.23 minutes) by Martin Healy was commissioned by the National Sculpture Factory, Cork & Static Gallery, Liverpool as part of Terminal Convention, Cork 2011.

Also showing:

Dorothy Cross

'Jellyfish Lake’ (2002)
27 June–30 August 2014 

Jellyfish Lake is a film by Dorothy Cross resulting from investigations into the biomechanics of Chironex fleckeri, the jellyfish. Filmed in an isolated lake, estimated to be 12,000 years old, in Palau, Micronesia, millions of golden jellyfish migrate across the lake daily.

Cross plunges the viewer under water to view a naked woman floating beneath the sunlit surface. Hair drifting and pulsating like the multiple golden jellyfish around her pale-skinned body, it echoes the hypnotic rhythms of the jellyfish.

Unlike the solid form of the body, the contrasting golden jellyfish are amorphous and transparent yet there is mutual awareness: the human form is laid bare to nature‘s defences but collide temporarily. The body displaces the sentient primitive jellyfish but they brush by it making their presence felt both physically and visually. The jellyfish merely investigate, along with our gaze.

Jellyfish Lake is part of Cross’s ongoing investigations to reposition man in nature and to reflect on the role for artists within a world facing increasing environmental and cultural changes.