Conor Kelly


4 March to 2 May 2004

This installation comprised works on five monitors which played singly, in pairs or in multiples, in a sequence that lasts 24 minutes. Kelly orchestrated moving image with composed sounds to create a fluent and fluid articulation of the gallery space.

The title of the work, Plainsong, is a loose interpretation of a term that describes the expression of the spoken word as simple melody, and is usually encountered in medieval church music. In Kelly's case, however, unlike the reverent language of worship his starting point is the language of little happenings, unremarkable incidences and modest goings-on.

Kelly shoots short, silent, single framed videos to which he composes sound that articulates or gives voice to the image. This kind of transposition can have an anthropomorphic effect. In one example, the pulsating orange globe of a Belisha beacon takes on a menacing and surreal humour reminiscent of 50s and 60s Sci-Fi B movies (for example The Prisoner's nemesis beach balloon in the eponymous TV series). In a another video a solitary tree, whose branches are rustled by the wind, becomes the instrument that controls an erratic and at times cacophonous piano composition.

DVD and CD: 
Peer has produced Sound & Music, a DVD to accompany this exhibition. It also marked Kelly's exhibition of two new works at Fordham Gallery, London, shown during July and August 2004. It contains the single screen work Sound & Music plus texts by Eoghan Nolan and Ingrid Swenson. Click here to buy a copy.

This project has been generously supported by:

KIAD (Kent Institute of Art and Design)