Suzanne Mooney: Sometimes lines and shadows never meet, #3

Edition: 1/5 + 2 AP
Year: 2023
Dimensions: 87 x 58 cm (K x L)
B&W archival digital print, mounted on Diasec
Not framed

Location: Photographic Gallery Hippolyte (Yrjönkatu 8-10, 00120 Helsinki)

From the exhibition: Circles of Confusion
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

A ‘circle of confusion’ is a photographic term describing a blurred spot caused by light rays passing through a lens, not coming into focus. When nothing is sharp or in focus, it is within this opaque space the works in this exhibition begin to take form. Through a series of photographs and video works; various objects, text and light, Suzanne Mooney’s exhibition Circles of Confusion delves into the principles of refraction, optical devices, and an inability to decode what we see.

Privacy filters are a material indicative of our time, as we spend many hours sharing online conversely, we have become more anxious about screen privacy. Constructed out of compact louvres, like vertical blinds, the filter allows us to see through when viewed straight on but obstruct prying eyes from an angle. Circles of Confusion utilizes the privacy filter, as both object and metaphor, exploring ideas of seeing and not seeing, asking – what does opacity reveal? Vertical lines also traverse and converge in the gallery space, altering viewpoints as the audience moves around. Some act as support structures holding monitors and objects, while others inscribe a more personal narrative through handwritten text.

Many of the artworks take their visual cues from the same source, a National Geographic Society ‘Our Universe Space Kit.’ An educational box produced in 1980 containing a star chart, vinyl record, self-assembly telescope, and transparencies to view depictions of space, both real and imagined. For Mooney, the universe in a box was a compelling way to begin a project that has expanded into new photographs, murals, videos, and soundscapes. The works invite reflection on our expectations that new technology always affords clarity.

Circles of Confusion sits within a wider body of artistic research exploring how glass is used as a multi-functioning material, part of the mechanics of image-making. Rather than focus on photography only as a medium to (re)produce images, the research looks at glass as a core element, a substance imbued with distinct characteristics both physical and conceptual, that are useful in expanding the discourses around the current state of the medium.

Suzanne Mooney
 (b. Ireland) is a visual artist based in Helsinki, working with photography and its materiality. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London her work has been shown internationally in exhibitions at: ADN platform, Barcelona; A.I.R Gallery, New York; The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki; Photo Ireland, Dublin; Vitrine Gallery, Basel; Weserburg Museum, Bremen; Contemporary Art Society, London and Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork. Her works are in the collections of the OPW and Irish State Collection. Suzanne is currently a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Art, Helsinki and a PhD candidate at Aalto University.