Monday, May 13, 2013

Sean Hillen: Surreal Dislocations

       Sandycove viewed from the Theatre of Delos, Dublin, 1997.

The birthplace of Aphrodite at Slemish Mountain, Co.Antrim, 2005.

The Pallestra of Sliabh Gullion, Co.Armagh, 1994.

       The Four Courts form the Temple of Apollo, Dublin, 1994.

Since 1992, Irish artist Sean Hillen has created a variety of funny, startling and often disturbingly apocalyptic images by transposing ancient monuments into John Hinde postcards of a bucolic or urban Ireland.

In his insightful article on Hillen's art, Fintan O'Toole best describes the impact of Hillen's photo-montage technique in the IRELANTIS collage series  (a compound word-play between Ireland and ancient ATLANTIS) as a visual "culture shock." Instantly eliminating physically as well as culturally the distance between Greek antiquity -in this instance- and modern day Ireland, the visual trick Hillen employs nowadays "almost a cliche of Irish advertising" resonates with our "globalised, displaced sensibilities" as a postmodern bricolage of aesthetics and political reflection on modernity.

See more about IRELANTIS here.