April 17–May, 2013
Level 1 / 309 Queensberry Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Duets explores communication and cooperation, and what happens when these go wrong. O’Carrigan depicts figures in high-stress situations, with no means of clear communication. Removed of speech and context, all that is left is gesture: the viewer left to interpret the figure’s body language.
By choosing awkward moments, where the subject expresses private feelings between frames and takes, it seems as though O’Carrigan is betraying his heroes. Instead, what O’Carrigan gives us is the moment where the subjects show how they feel when they cannot speak it. There are two sides to this show. Duets are taken from ridiculous interviews aptly portrayed with a hint of caricature. In contrast to the playfully nonsensical on-screen meltdowns are foreboding scenes of impending violent conflict. Musicians are suddenly recruiting for the war effort. Slapstick fugitives are in Dresden, or Hiroshima. O’Carrigan gives us altered histories versus Hollywood tropes.
The combination of these threads exhibited together seems to suggest an escalation of conflict seeded in confusion. What is meant is not always what is heard, or other powers bend the meaning to their will. When words fail us, the pen is no longer mightier than the sword.