MexIndex - free database of experimental visual arts and image works by  Irish artists

Fishes, trees, donkeys, hands.


This is one in a small series of contributions submitted by Irish and international artists, writers and curators commissioned by MEx curator in residence 2016 Alice Butler to activate the resource by drawing attention to individual works or artists, underlying themes, evolving patterns or historical threads.  For their submission to the index, RGKSKSRG have selected four new works to add to MExIndex in the form of an online curated programme, accompanied by the text below.

But that’s absurd!

No, I was thinking it’s more like that it’s intensely profound.


You know, in the sense that it’s absurd beyond reason, to the point where it hits profundity.

There’s a ceiling to absurdity? That at some point it tips into it’s opposite? Enlightenment?

Yes, but anyway, that’s not really the issue here.

Well it actually is, in a way. But I think there’s something in here about intimacy, right?

Okay, in what way?

You know… Intimacy, the personal, the casual, the inner worlds within us, the private day-to- day psychosis that bundles around our brains.

It’s all quite dark. Funny and all that, but essentially dark, black, melancholic.

Yes! And that bit, you know where she sits on the wooden thing by the side of the water, or is it a river? You know, alone, kind of random, but kind of like she’s yearning for home… the fish and the ocean… connection.

It’s the music too.


Likewise, in my mind, this sense of yearning is super heightened in the one where he’s in the woods and out in the open air. But it’s more like a hyper-self-consciousness that looks within and over-analyses everything. The minutiae become amplified until it’s punching within his own ears, drowning out any calm or peace or the very connection that he’s searching for.

It’s funny, because I think it’s probably a sensation many of us have these days, especially if you’re working like a loon constantly and then suddenly land yourself in nature or on holidays with free time. It’s like you become an unfurling rubber band… slightly crazed, expecting yourself to relax instantly. Like it’s another task on a list to be ticked off – 1. Wash the loo; 2. Call Dad; 3. Relax and connect.

Tightly spun.


It’s about rationale too.

Well isn’t that what you meant earlier, about the absurdity?

Yes but it’s a rationale of absurdity. Like insanity, you know? Where the person has a rationale for everything but it’s all based on the thinnest of logic, and weak links, and a weird, almost superstitious cause and effect thinking.

You’re talking about the telepathy thing, with the hands?


I love that work. I’ve watched it over and over. It doesn’t tire.

It’s the ridiculousness of the everyday too – office or studio life, how we relate to one another, a certain awkwardness, and I guess a physical disconnect.

With our own bodies, right? But maybe also a physical disconnect with the ‘outer’ world – simple stuff like how we interact with the desks we sit at, the pens we use to write with. It’s a discomfort of some kind.

Maybe the donkeys fall in here too?

In what way?

The physical disconnect. The uselessness of our actions. They never quite live up to the depth of the world. They seem so basic at times. I often look at surgery and wonder how on earth we haven’t gone beyond physically cutting into our bodies! It’s all so crude… against the complexity of the universe. Do you know what I mean? It’s like in that sci-fi film where you can be totally healed by lying on a bed-computer thing that scans your body et voila! Healed. That seems much more real to me than the bald mechanics of surgery.

Are we still talking about dancing with donkeys?

Yes, or is it a vulnerability?

I think vulnerability is huge in all of these works.

Vulnerability, exposure, sensitivity… how fallible we are.

And the digital too. The production of the works is important. The grainy finish, the YouTube feel.

Well, not all of them have that –

No, but still…

Anyway, let’s think about all of this a bit more, right? We can then sit down and write it all up properly so it makes sense. Otherwise it’s just a messy stream of thoughts between two people. Too casual, probably not enough levity.

God, I’m so tired of levity!

Hmmm, yeah, but we need to do justice to the works. They’re brilliant.

Well, we could just leave it as is. What do you think? It’s why we’re so interested in these works right? Forget the bullshit theoretical abstractions! Give us the real deal! The personal!

Okay but is this too raw? Maybe it’ll seem contrived? I hate conversations as texts. You always know the person was too busy to write down a proper text so they thought they’d be clever and opt for ‘a conversation’. It’s such a cop-out.

Crikey. I generally like them. I think they’re a bit more real.

But is this real?

Of course – profoundly so.


RGKSKSRG is the curatorial practice of Rachael Gilbourne and Kate Strain. Based between Dublin and Graz, RGKSKSRG commission, present and contextualise contemporary art. Through linking with existing organisational structures, RGKSKSRG work to create new contexts for engaged encounters between artists and audiences. These contexts can involve artworks, exhibitions, events, writings, residencies, interviews, and live works, within various locations, both online or in-real-life.


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