‘Viewfinder’ was a group show exploring the pictorial, rather than the material, dimension of painting. Each artist’s work in the show looked at the representation of nature, and considered landscape as a natural phenomenon, or as a social and cultural construct. The development in the history of picture making from painting to photography and cinema, and to video and digital imaging, were reflected in the show.
‘How And Why’ was the first work where Ireland presented a series of representations of landscape within a structure of the work’s own landscape/environment. The work hinged on the space between the representations presented in the images and the found objects used to create these images.
By placing the works as a room-filling installation, the viewer’s complicity with the act of framing, editing and searching for the views depicted in the projected images was made much more physical and explicit. Through the standard format of the 35mm slide, the familiar tropes of landscape imagery depicted and the common-place objects used to create them, Ireland draws out and unpicks many of the pictorial conventions we have learnt to read in painting, advertising and film. The work takes as its central proposition that the three-dimensional world is negotiated and understood through our two-dimensional representations and makes explicit the problematic inherent in this translation.
This exhibition sets his work within a long, ongoing and international tradition of the constructed picturesque.