Alan Phelan

Echos toujours plus sourds

Alan Phelan

CCI is delighted to present this exhibition by artist Alan Phelan which brings together a selection of his unique Joly Screen photographs and a music video work. Over the past three years, Phelan has worked on reviving a forgotten colour photography process invented in the 1890s by Dublin physicist John Joly; this short-lived process used screens made of red, green and blue lines in conjunction with black and white film. Phelan imagines a visual history this invention never had. To do this, he uses art and historical references spanning over 500 years. The work presents a “counterfactual temporality”, a longer potential history for photography that contextualises it prior to its technical beginnings. Arranged in sequences that mix floral, self-portraits and objects, the photographs’ titles acknowledge their source while creating a new story. Re-narrativisation and the echo of history pervade Phelan’s practice; in this case, familiar tropes are masterfully used to tell a story of invention, failure and love.

Image : Alan Phelan, Joly Screen photograph, 2019