Ali Farrelly

I'm Ali Farrelly from Ireland. I like to investigate the collapsing of the barriers which isolate us from inanimate stuff, everyday merchandise, whose strengths I value outside the realm of their prescribed functionality. I speak of gadgets, gizmos, appliances that “come alive” by dint of their ability to be turned on. For example, we don’t “get close to” our car emotionally until it reveals a flaw that threatens bodily harm. Likewise, any stuff stripped of its primary function exerts power over us in a reverse voyeurism.

It is fascinating that such ‘neutered’ devices can ‘come alive’; the Bluetooth speaker playing nothing, killing itself with its own low-battery notification bell, or the vacuum cleaner sans bag or hose, diverting attention to its expulsion of warm air. Defamiliarisation allows my objects to perform in outlandish ways, to offer new possibilities to items considered “useless”, devoid of agency.

I acquire others’ rejected possessions. Securing these from strangers imbues them with historical energy. I probe like a surgeon, not to operate, but to emphasise their anomalies and dysfunctionalities. My interventions are showcased via installation and video, potential also often fully-realised through experimentation. My aesthetic is ‘compromised’, I embrace these objects’ defective state, not modified for mere art’s sake, and are capable of eliciting feelings of loneliness or desperation. Liberated from function, they hold new value.

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