The Raven

17 Jun 06—15 Jul 06
Andrew James Boyle

Andrew James Boyle graduated in Media at NWIFHE in 2006. He has previously exhibited and selected work as part of the Context Galleries project, Videographies in November 2005; and was awarded the NWHB Moving Image Media Award in May 2006.

“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.” Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s poem ‘The Raven’ is brought to the foreground by the artist Andrew James Boyle in his attempt to project the poem in a significantly contemporary fashion. Andrew’s work is constituted as contemporary as the poem is read aloud by familiar faces that penetrate the domain of the media on a daily basis. It seems that the poem remains intransigent in it’s effectiveness, even in today’s modern society it has left an imprint on our minds as it appears to have an eclectic influence on film makers, writers and musicians in the 21st century.

‘My next thought concerned to the choice of an impression or effect, to be conveyed: and here I may as well observe that, throughout the construction, I kept steadily in view the design of rendering the work universally acceptable’ Edgar Allan Poe

One can only imagine the writer sitting at his desk with the lights turned down, pondering over his manuscript. Poe’s world is one which escapes into the Romantic and the Gothic; a world reflecting his own inner turmoil and pain. It conjures the question as to how Andrew James Boyle’s work and that of Poe’s are inextricably linked. Since the Romantic and the Gothic are justified as tools to escape the realities of life, modern society poses the opposite, there is no room for privacy. Our media is overshadowed by reality TV shows, we gloat on the misfortunes of others in this seemingly godless world. However as each person reads out a verse from the poem, the literal word demonstrates a living embodiment and diverse mannerist nature of ‘The Raven’. Christine Mullin, Curator

This exhibition is a Context First Curatorial Project selected by Christine Mullin, recent Context Gallery trainee. Context First Curatorial Projects is a scheme allowing gallery trainees from the region to develop the experience of working with artists for the first time.

This work, The Raven, features a complete video performance of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem from 1845, The Raven. All eighteen verses of the poem are read by a cast of comedians, actors, singers, musicians, a DJ, a politician and a mime artist. Each reader reads a single verse of the poem to camera for the artist. Each act of reading is a performance which characterizes both the poem and the reader. The readers were filmed backstage, in green rooms, on tour buses, in college corridors and concert hall storerooms; at various gigs, performances, and public events over 2005 and 2006.