A VOODOO FREE PHENOMENON-FILM
25 November 2016–18 March 2017
Drawing on the ambiguous relationship between fact and fiction, Garrett Phelan’s short film is divided between a simple, effective storytelling monologue by the artist and a dramatically filmed grouping of ambiguous luxuriant undiscovered golden artefacts.
Phelan’s documentary style examination of the gold objects of an indeterminate provenance amplifies the phenomena of meaning and purpose we still project onto ancient monuments and ritualisation amidst the avalanche of ever-present technology questioning the paradox of power that such relics can hold over us.
In the second part of the film, lurching from dark comedy to remorseful empathy, Phelan recalls his journey with his mother in his endeavor to reach the prehistoric New Grange before the winter sunrise of the solstice as a young man. His recollection of his anxious behaviour during his journey to the site and his enduring regret for not getting her a place through the lottery-run admissions system, are almost as powerful as his remembrance of the event itself.
Garrett Phelan’s film touches upon a deeper exploration of personal politics and the desire to decipher the world and the limitation of understanding that even with technology can we ever really be free from history and inherited social practices and rituals?