BRENDAN FOX DISCUSSES HIS PROJECT ‘LESS GREATER EQUAL’, RECENTLY SHOWN AT THE NAG GALLERY, DUBLIN (6 – 20 MARCH 2015).
I consider the gallery space a platform from which I converse with viewers. Both curatorially and from the perspective of a visual artist, I regard ‘Less Greater Equal’ as a personal conversation. This project is a departure from my previous work, as I found myself assuming the role of both subject and auteur. In 2014 my life changed irreparably. The year encompassed the breakdown of a 10-year relationship, losing my home, my father’s cancer diagnosis and my spiraling into depression. This was compounded when I experienced a homophobic attack. During this period there was also a constant barrage of wimbeldon-esque media coverage relating to the forthcoming marriage referendum. In the seemingly endless rounds of media discussions, it’s too often insinuated that LGBT people are ‘other’, peripheral or otherwise not quite part of the cogs of society.
I found myself questioning everything, embarking on an existential quest of sorts, searching for a personal context and a means of re-establishing my own identity. ‘Less Greater Equal’, although politically motivated, is also concerned with the idiosyncratic nature of sexual identity and the repercussions of growing and existing in a socio-political landscape where one is perceived as lesser. The tension between our inner and outer selves encourages artifice in our behaviours. Carl Jung refers to this facade as the persona: “… a kind of mask designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”. (1) We all struggle with identity. We are fragile. It is through the sharing of our narratives and vulnerabilities that we can truly understand both ourselves and the ‘other’. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is”. (2) [Read more…]