Auto Focus

Ceal Floyer
March 11, 2009 – May 9, 2010

Dancing Flames, 2007

DVD, DVD player, beamer, MP3 player (with shuffle function), speakers

Sound and image are established as two separate entities in the audio-visual installation, in which a film of a candle flame and its ghostly dancing partner is reflected in a glass and projected on a wall while music emanates from speakers positioned on the rear wall of the installation. 

 

Photo © Ceal Floyer

From left to right:

 

Helix, 2015

Shelf, stencil, diverse objects

Thirty-two objects have been chosen according to the ability of one of their ends to fit into the differently sized circular openings in a stencil. This ready-made template, with the brand name Helix, is seen at the base of the work.

 

100%, 2007 (detail)

Installation of ten "10%" vinyl stickers

The work mockingly refers to the continuously suspended promise of consumer culture and to the habitual search for discounted products identified by similar stickers announcing reduced prices. 

 

Untitled, 2008
Metal box, "Closed" sign

A red suggestions box is locked by the chain of a "closed” sign. The use of minimally altered well-known signs or everyday objects to slightly disorient the viewer's perception of their surroundings is a constant theme in Floyer's work.

 

Photo © Ceal Floyer

From left to right:

 

Trash, 2005

Projection, installation

The image is taken from an ordinary computer operating system. The symbolic image is given a life-size presence, as if standing on the floor in the exhibition space and the wall standing in as the 'emptied' desktop.

 

100%, 2007 (detail)

Installation of ten "10%" vinyl stickers

The work mockingly refers to the continuously suspended promise of consumer culture and to the habitual search for discounted products identified by similar stickers announcing reduced prices. 

 

Duck-Rabbit, 2009

Poster on aluminium Dibond

The work deals with an ironic examination of phenomena of perception. Floyer extends the famous duck-rabbit image Ludwig Wittgenstein described in his Philosophical Investigations (1953) with another figure – the Playboy Bunny.

 

Photo © Ceal Floyer

From left to right:

 

Picture Puzzle, 2009
Magazines
Two issues of Life Magazine featuring picture puzzles are compared, their differences circled in red pen. The only apparent distinction is that the stickers offering "Buy one get one 1/2 price" are positioned at slightly different positions on the covers.

 

100%, 2007 (detail)

Installation of ten "10%" vinyl stickers

The work mockingly refers to the continuously suspended promise of consumer culture and to the habitual search for discounted products identified by similar stickers announcing reduced prices. 

 

Drain, 2006
CD, CD-player, speaker, audio cable, shelf
Duration 01:00 min (looped)
The sound of a liquid escaping through a drain is audible at regular intervals. The small audio speaker lies on the floor, its shape reminiscent of the round often dark shape of a drain. 

 

Photo © Ceal Floyer

From left to right:

 

Overgrowth, 2004

Large-format slide, projector, AV stand

A slide projection of a bonsai tree is scaled to the size of a large wall. When a bonsai is arranged in a garden with similarly scaled plants it appears as a full-size tree from a distance. However, the scale of Overgrowth has nothing to do with perspective or relative size. 

 

Ink On Paper (Set of 40), 2010

Felting pen on blotting paper

The tips of felttip pens are suspended on a sheet of blotting paper. By a process of osmosis, the felttip pens are slowly emptied, the pigments spreading on the paper.

 

Auto Focus, 2002

Light projection with Leica Pradovit P-150 projector, AV stand, plinth

A slide carousel is turned on without but doesn’t contain any slides. In an attempt to grab an image that is not there, and thus render it in perfect focus, the lens shifts in and out, forming a moving halo of white light on the wall.

 

100%, 2007 (detail)

Installation of ten "10%" vinyl stickers

The work mockingly refers to the continuously suspended promise of consumer culture and to the habitual search for discounted products identified by similar stickers announcing reduced prices. 

 

Photo © Ceal Floyer

Auto Focus

Ceal Floyer
Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami
March 11, 2009 – May 9, 2010
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This mid-career survey is Floyer’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, featuring multi-media works from the late 1990s to the present. The exhibition was curated by MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater.


Floyer’s deceptively minimal conceptual works emerge from her daily experiences rather than from theory. Many of her trigger points result from peripheral observations of everyday non-events, and her work often deals with the structure and syntax of the English language. Her works elegantly reveal her thought process and heighten our awareness to the way our mind perceives and comprehends the moments she creates.

 

The exhibition takes its name from Floyer’s 2002 work, Auto Focus, consisting of a carousel slide projector pointed at a wall, endlessly going through its automatic process of focusing its projection. However, there is no carousel to display slides and therefore there is nothing to project except the projector’s own light. The viewer’s automatic response is to focus on the illuminated projection glowing on the wall as this is where one usually looks when viewing a slide presentation. Auto Focus is more than just the light. It is a sculpture, or more specifically, a readymade that was purchased. It’s almost human in its perseverance at its futile task, and it is a lot like most of us who follow instructions exactly as prescribed until an artist like Floyer comes along and challenges our perception by directing our gaze in unexpected directions. 

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