“Fuzzy Logic” exhibition at Backwater Artists Group, Studio 12, Cork City

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[Ailbhe Ní Bhriain | Ben Reilly | David Dunne |  Lorraine Cleary ]

Curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran

Runs 3 September – 2 October 2020. Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm.

Collaboration with 126 Artist-Run Gallery and Backwater Artists 30 year anniversary in 2020 in Studio 12 exhibition/project space, First Floor Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay, Cork T12 E26D.


Viewing by appointment only (021 4961002 / admin@backwaterartists.ie). Email or phone ahead OR just phone upon arrival.


A kaleidoscope of approaches to the entropy of uncertainty and fuzzy logic.

Developed as a response to circumstantial uncertainties we all have and are living through, Fuzzy Logic draws together Backwater Artist members, Ben Reilly and Ailbhe Ní Bhriain and 126 Artist-Run Gallery members, Lorraine Cleary and David Dunne. Uncertainty is a term used in subtly different ways in several fields, including philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology. It applies to predictions of future events, physical measurements already made, or to the unknown. It may also examine how we navigate the world, from our individual or small clustered points of view. We look at everything from different vantage points and interact with the world, with art and with each other.


Lorraine Cleary’s practice is an investigation into the boundaries that exist between spatial entities. Involving an exploration of those entities in their ambiguous states, the in-between, on the threshold of transformation. Cleary draws the viewer into her disturbing domestic circumference. She wants the viewer to assess the work and question the reasoning behind it. Her seemingly unconnected pieces act as a collective metaphor for trauma, the physical trauma itself has passed but the memory of it continues to persist.


The philosophical problematics of uncertainty are often tied to several conditions: Fallibility of human beings; the limit of the knowability of or accessibility to the past and future; contingency and spontaneity of human decisions and actions that affect social phenomena. Uncertainty, thus, has both ontological and epistemological elements that appear in various ways in social, historical, cultural phenomena and our understanding of these and other be discussed in reference to belief and faith. Below I outline how uncertainty permeates across human existence and affect the world around us.


Ailbhe Ní Bhriain will present the photographic series Inscriptions which combines imagery from a number of different sources, referencing museum artefacts, expansive landscapes and studio debris. Simple collage techniques are used to collapse the binaries and conventions of the source imagery in order to imagine a series of new and permeable connections. The work takes its starting point from a text by Samuel Quiccheberg entitled ‘Inscriptions of the Immense Theatre’. This is thought to be the earliest published text on museology and outlines the methods for the collection and categorization of objects, images and artefacts from across the world.


David Dunne’s Fracture, displacement and disruption are an ongoing concern that permeates our global society. In constant flux and change the parameters that hold the tentacles or nodal strands of global economies and power relationships have become maligned and disjointed. Uncertainty the currency of doubt neutralises and dumb down democratic principles. Violations of international humanitarian law and internecine violence that deliberately target war-torn communities come into sharp focus. The work in Fuzzy Logic will function as architectural emergencies in their chaos collapse and transformation of scale, weight and measure.


Through every day recycled domestic furniture tangible abstract constructs will provide a format that will analyse, processes and reinterpret how we hold the language of form and function to account. In the transfer of knowledge, a disjointed parody exists in the global political decision-making process. This has a polarising effect on the underprivileged and the disenfranchised in society and has a far-reaching consequence on how we see the world as fixed content. The filter for truth and the notion of freedom is elusive. The artist as the antenna for society is now imperative.


Ben Reilly explores the history of the material, a collector of objects which he transforms into pieces of impactfully beautiful visual experiences. Through casting and altering old objects Reilly creates work which forces viewers to examine, think and look a bit harder to understand the true depth of history and beauty. Old and new are bound together with increasing overt wit.

Uncertainty is inherent in life and permeates all aspects of the world. What is the right decision? Is this not simply altered by our individual perspective and the information available to each of us. But as humans, who are inherently fallible, are our information systems not imprecise, incomplete and unreliable? How do we ever know what is right with this uncertainty which objectively must always exist within existing human information systems.