Michael John Whelan: The Sun Shone on the Nothing New
Shot at Waterford Airport in 2012, this film documents daybreak over an ATR72 aeroplane which was parked overnight at the airport. This will be the Irish premiere of the film, which will be screened over four consecutive nights.
Recorded over 52 hours and encompassing two consecutive dawn breaks, the film focuses on the airplane as a static object, a mechanical structure that remains fixed as the skies move from inky black to luminous blue. This plane is a fairly standard small twin-engine, propeller driven craft that seats less than 80 people and is used for short haul regional trips. This film evokes a return to the simplicity of air travel, comprised of a mechanised entity moving through an evolving sky, without the hubris and stress of modern day air travel, with seemingly endless queues, the incessant din and general unpleasantness of airports.
The daily transformation of the sky acts as a metaphor, suggesting that sunrise is in many ways a journey of a sort; that of the emerging light of morning. If we remain static long enough, all around us will alter regardless of our actions. The film itself is shown in real time - there has been no speeding up or slowing down to create a fictional duration. Rather, the 5-hour shoot has been edited to a core of 88 minutes, showing the gradual transformation from total darkness into absolute daylight, a journey few of us ever really experience.
The exhibition also features a new publication, produced in collaboration with Grey Noise, Dubai.
Born in Dublin, Ireland. Michael John Whelan lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He received a BA in Fine Art from IADT-DL, Dublin in 2002 and an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design (University of the Arts, London) in 2004. Recent exhibitions include: LISTE 18 (with Grey Noise, Dubai); Flood, Dublin; Museum Bochum; Grey Noise, Dubai (solo); KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, Hannover; Boetzelaer Nispen, London (solo); Noorderlicht Gallery, Groningen; Kunstverein Bochum (Solo); Kunstverein Dortmund. In 2005 he was the recipient of the Clifford Chance / University of the Arts Sculpture Award. His work is in a number of public and private collections.