Aesthetics of Disappearance; Social Deconstruction; Sedimentation

Catriona Leahy

Research output: Non-Textual OutputExhibition


Coup de Ville is a Triennial exhibition of contemporary art by internationally selected artists, hosted by WARP Contemporary Art Platform in the city of Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. Continuing my enquiry into the remains of cultural phenomena that has been lost or displaced over time, the work for this exhibition responds to the history and architectural heritage of the city of Sint-Niklaas. The work reads as a melancholy look at a town where fading legibility acts as an analogy for the inevitability of impermanence and shifting social, geographical and cultural imperatives. To that end, the emphasis for the work lies within the structure of a bandstand which once stood in the main square but which was since dismantled, put into storage for 20 years, only then to be resurrected and reinstated in another location. The work is executed through printmaking processes and video. The use of fragile Japanese paper which has been hand printed with layers of black ink on black to simultaneously reveal and conceal the image of the bandstand, shows the structure "as a kind of Fata Morgana mirage, or more precisely a ghost from the past" - the piece aptly titled "Aesthetics of Disappearance". In the second piece, "Social Deconstruction" a found image of the dismantling of the bandstand has been reproduced to large scale, once again on Japanese paper and in a fragmented form. This device of fragmentation puts the vulnerability, malleability and the replaceability of the bandstand - and by extension Cultural Heritage in general - to the fore. The video projection, "Sedimentation" sees an illustration of the grandeur of the City Hall in Sint-Niklaas. The loose sheet of paper absorbs water until it is saturated. The ink runs, the image blurs. It is a meditation on time as soon, only a shadowy form of what might have been remains.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2016
EventCoup de Ville 2016 - Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Duration: 9 Sept 2016 → …


  • Fine art
  • printmaking
  • Coup de Ville
  • Triennial
  • contemporary art
  • culture
  • history
  • architectural heritage
  • time
  • memory
  • impermanence


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