Green on Red Gallery


Damien Flood, Sofia Hulten, Jiri Kovanda, Jonathan Monk & Douglas Gordon, Roman Ondak

  • 02 Sep - 01 Oct 2011

Green On Red Gallery are delighted to present O, an exhibition bringing together for the first time the work of a cross-generational group of artists from Ireland to Slovakia to coincide with the opening of Dublin Contemporary 2011.

From painting to performance, Damien Flood, Sofia Hulten, Jirí Kovanda, Jonathan Monk & Douglas Gordon and Roman Ondak. come together in a curious multi-media exhibition to underline the intrigue, the mystery, the hide and seek that happens when the viewer is confronted publicly with the private thoughts, theories and creations of some of the most interesting and inquisitive art practitioners of our day. All were invited to the show with mostly existing works in response to a subject echoed in a unique work by Samuel Beckett called Film (1965)*, recently exhibited in The Moderns exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham, Dublin. In this work, Beckett himself describes the element of flight from prying eyes that is the subject of the 20 minute film. As he puts it : “ non-being in flight from extraneous perception breaking down in inescapable self-perception ”. The irony, the futility, the failure, they’re all there.

Appropriately titled O - read variously as a letter, a number or an image or standing for the elusive object (O) attempting to establish a surer footing ** - the works exhibited in this exhibition stubbornly resist easy or quick apprehension. The game is on. The pure pleasure in beginning to understand each artist’s very distinctive mark is immediate here with unusually common and poetic results.

The stage is set by Flood’s modest but charming painting called Curtain (2011). In typical Flood fashion, ambiguity bordering on the contradictory characterises this oil on canvas work by putting the viewer in attentive, watchful mode. We are outside but drawn in through the simplest of drawn gestures. This disarming simplicity runs throughout much of the work in the show but sometimes with a shocking or mischievous twist. Roman Ondak’s Guided Tour (Follow Me) (2002) records an under-age tour guide leading his audience in the future tense round the old quarter of his native town of Zadar in Slovakia. Both this work and the iconic Stray Man (2006) ask some fundamental post-conceptual questions of society’s interest, even involvement in the making and consumption of art today. “ Once observed, The Stray Man sets in place a process of self-conscious realization that unravels the structure of the gallery or institution and more generally addresses the dynamics of the gaze. Seeing oneself seen by an obvious 'outsider', curious as to what is going on but unwilling to participate, the gallery visitor is made immediately aware of the 'otherness' of his or her activity, says Jessica Morgan of this work. In the cleverest of reversals, public space is as likely the occasion of an artistic situation as is the gallery and the gallery can play host to the most ordinary of rituals (turned art object) as easily as the artist’s kitchen.

Sofia Hulten’s Artificial Conglomerate is a cast of a found rock that has been rearranged after violent destruction but now has the appearance of something lunar. The humorous confusion of scale and source is continued in her The Actual Calculated Size of a Black Hole (2010). The framed photograph of the book illustration of the the actual calculated size of a black hole is itself holed by drilling through the glazing of the frame at the point of the black hole image, continuing through the photograph itself and into the wall behind the artwork. The layers of seeing and scale go from tangible and present to invisible. The effect of work and process, however eccentric and even invisible that is, on objects is at once futile and affecting. An air of doomed practice inhabits Hulten’s as it does Beckett’s strategy in a work like Immovable Object / Unstoppable Force (2011).

Invisibility and secrecy are themes found repeatedly in the sometimes anonymous performances and childlike sketches of Czech artist Jiri Kovanda. His engagement with his audience is often so self-effacing as to be unnoticeable, dating back to his influential Actions in the 1970’s. The Oscar Wilde Piece by Jonathan Monk and Douglas Gordon is, by contrast, a record of a social engagement, or is it a performance in written large in neon.

The next exhibition in Green On Red Gallery is Model by Niamh O’Malley from October 6-November 5, 2011. For further information please contact Jerome or Mary at +353 1 6713414 or

* Film will be screened in Green On Red Gallery on Culture night at 6.30pm ** This poetry is found in Beckett’s own analysis of the dynamic of Film where E (eye or camera lens) searches for O (object of full facial exposure) but ends up with an ambivalent "I".



  • For more information or purchase enquiries contact the gallery.

More Information

  • For more information or purchase enquiries contact the gallery.
  • Damien Flood
  • Curtain (2011)
  • Oil on half oil ground, 30 x 25cm
Curtain (2011)
Immovable Object / Unstoppable Force (2005 - )
The Stray Man (2006)
The Oscar Wilde Piece (2009)
Guided Tour (Follow Me) (2002)

© Green on Red Gallery