Guilt by Association —

1992


If there is something Scottish about this exhibition it lies in the association between the artists and the desirability of a mode of public address – combined winningly and wittily with dramatic incursions of the domestic and the subjective. Roderick Buchanan’s plaque tucked away off the vast corridor, spells out WHEN BAD MEN CONSPIRE, GOOD MEN SHOULD ASSOCIATE and thereby become guilty again – in the immediate instance of committing works of art in a public place. Buchanan also exhibits photographs of the group’s planning meetings and exceptionally subtle text pieces in the corridor. ‘Once our communication lines were broken we held the position for another day, however unable to effect any real change, we agreed to the surrender. Assembling downstairs we laid our arms and equipment down while our ambulance corps were ordered to remove their red crosses.’ Buchanan is vexed by the history of the Royal Hospital and its inherent ambiguity as a national monument, but his works are expressly concerned with the present. If artists are to work as though they are in the ‘early days of a better nation’ they must surrender badges marking them out as healers and name the harm: which is their division from the public.

Ian Connolly Hunt, Frieze No7, Guilt by Association


Guilt by Association, Photographic series indexing our age, where we lived and worked, IMMA Dublin, group exhibition with Christine Borland, Douglas Gordon, Kevin Henderson and Craig Richardson with curatorial support from Declan McGonagle.