Paper Visual Art 8

In Paper Visual Art Vol. 8 I write about the extraordinary Dennis Dinneen archive, the Macroom photographer and pub-owner whose work was rediscovered by David J. Moore and was exhibited, amongst other places, at the Douglas Hyde Gallery this year.

From Paper Visual Art:

This desire [for commemoration], bordering on a belief that immortality is contained within the mystery of photography, is particularly compelling in these versions of Dinneen’s work because each image is bordered and framed by what is not meant to be included within it. The eternal remembrance which photography seems to offer reverberates out from the centre of each image to encompass the glimpses of banality which enter the image from the sides. So the photograph of a priest, looking stiff and uncomfortable, staring straight into the camera, is back-dropped in white to off-set his black clothing. As with many of these unsubtly-lit images, his shadow is cast, firmly-drawn and close-by, on the screen behind him. Properly cropped, this image is an identifier – a passport photo, a mug shot. But, expanded out, its perspectives multiply. The white backdrop is so intensely lit that its shape becomes a pure and unfathomable geometry, a receding or extruding column of light from above. And other either side of this, the room is reduced to abstract shapes and allegories – the doorway on the right-hand side of the sitter being akin to a metaphor of departure and passing on, and thus fitting to the profession of the man whose job is to mark the ushering in and out of individual lives.

Colin Graham, ‘Dennis Dinneen: Small Two Portraits’, Paper Visual Art, 8 (2017), 67-70

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More on Paper Visual Art website here.

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