The installation We Moved Along, One Behind the Other, developed by David Haughey during his residency at Art Arcadia, approaches Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy through its translations to cinema and secondary texts. A principal concern that became apparent in this arrangement of space, video and painting, is the subject of the guide and the wayfarer, the pedagogue and their vessel. Through digital recreation, the work appropriates and reframes spaces from Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert, extending the installation into a speculative field beyond the conventions of cinema, painting and the exhibition.
Within Haughey’s practice, painting is positioned as an anchor, a point of navigation such that peripheral actions and processes are organised and tacitly ordered by this temporal container. The video forming part of this installation sequences the fragmentary research, texts and images that appeared during his residency. Circular and repetitive, the temporal structure of this projection work – particular to the context presented by Saint Augustine’s Schoolhouse – hopes to open up chains of association through a cinematic experience, where no single part is considered more important than any other, and all points are points of departure. The subtitles function autonomously, neither beginning nor end, but connected to the greater part.
In Red Desert, Antonioni stages the clash of old and new through the interplay of history, physical space, and their relative objects and stagings. This installation extracts one image from Dante’s Inferno, the cloaked figures of Canto XXIII, but erases the moralistic intent and recasts the painting and representation within a broader constellation of digital synthesis, image-making and association. The edition of Abridged magazine titled Dominion that will launch simultaneously with this exhibition further extends the installation presenting a series of images made during Haughey’s residency. David Haughey completed a PhD at Ulster University in 2021 and has shown work nationally and internationally since 2001. Details about his artistic practice can be found at www.davidhaughey.com/
This project is in partnership with St Augustine’s Heritage Site and is funded by Derry City & Strabane District Council, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Community Foundation NI.