Merlin James, Meeting at the Building
Gallery 2, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
11 December 2015 – 24 February 2015
The meeting at the building,
Soon be over,
All over this world,
All over this world.
(Leadbelly, 'Meeting at the Building')
The meeting (and the loving, the crying, the preaching) that is happening at the building seems to represent all human affairs, concerns, hopes and beliefs. And the theme seems to be one of vanitas: it will all pass, soon enough. Or maybe the implication is that, after the meeting, its consequences (revolution, revelation) will begin to spread far and wide – all over the world.
At some point I started making little model buildings from the debris on my studio floor – off-cuts of stretcher bar or frame moulding. I'm not sure what their status is as 'art', but they exist in some relation to my paintings (which in turn can be as much constructed as painted).
At first I would depict the model buildings in my paintings. Later I also began to incorporate the models physically into the pictures. Like my paintings, the models represent things that might exist somewhere in reality, 'life-size', and are at the same time physical, formal objects and assemblages in themselves. And they have infinite variety of character, while all belonging to the same subset of thing. – Merlin James
In 2012, Merlin James held an influential exhibition in Gallery 1. He has since exhibited at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Parasol Unit, London; Kunstverein Freiburg, and elsewhere.