Ronan McCrea

North Sea Dissolve

North Sea Dissolve is a projection work that extends the interval between the exposures on a roll of 35mm slide film shot at sea from fractions of a second to minutes in a rolling dissolve sequence that creates a play between a proto-cinematic temporality and a shimmering optical effect. While this resonates with images of the sea present in other works in the exhibition, the subject matter and title of this work are also a partial reference to Marcel Broodthaers’ 1974 film and book ‘A Voyage to the North Sea.’

This work was exhibited as part of the solo exhibition Efference Copy Mechanism, at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, 14 Feburary- 13 April 2019.  The exhibition comprises a complex arrangement of superimposed slide and 16mm film projections that draw on the artist’s personal archive and accumulated image bank, continuing his ongoing exploration of celluloid materiality, appropriated and found images, instructional film and pedagogy, reproduction and indexicality.

The darkened gallery space is divided by a line of steel archive storage shelves. From within this structure – at once functional and symbolic – an array of signals, control boxes, cables, looping mechanisms and projectors orchestrate the combination of images onto the surrounding walls. This spine-like structure is a key to the exhibition’s title. In neurological terms an efference is a motor signal from the central nervous system to the periphery. A copy of this signal – an efference copy – is created as the signal exits the brain and is re-routed to other areas of the sensory cortex, thus explaining our perception of stability despite constant eye movement, and how sensory signals generated from external stimuli can be distinguished from signals resulting from one’s own actions. Efference Copy Mechanism acts as a metaphor and framework for the artist’s thinking on his own relationship to the photo-mechanical image and the ‘baggage’ – both physical and metaphoric – of a personal archive representing many years of practice.

Images: Installation view of ‘Efference Copy Mechanism’ . Photographs: Kasia Kaminska