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Photography: James Mulholland 

Peter O'Neil
photography: Domnick Walsh

The Noble Island.
The Noble Island is a site-specific project undertaken in Rio de Janeiro on a residency program at Largo das Artes.
The project contrasts the mythical island of Hy-Brasil with contemporary issues in Rio de Janeiro, looking at ideas of utopia and the role that fiction has in the creation of history and cultural identity.
Hy-Brasil began appearing in maps, of the coast of Ireland circa 1325 and predated the writings of Thoma Moore's 'Utopia' as well as the christening of Brasil, the name coming from the redwood dye, which was extremely expensive and associated with wealth and abundance.

'The Noble Island' is an ephemeral intervention in the square at Largo do Sao Francisco de Paula in Rio de Janeiro’s downtown. The lines drawn represent the contours of Hy-Brasil and the division in the island due to two mountain ranges, also alluding to the ‘Cidade Partida’ the name sometimes used to refer to the social inequalities in Rio de Janerio. The powdery lines drawn in tapioca represent the contours of the utopic island location and problematise the notion of real and imaginary borders in everyday life.

Arcana Mundi — Economy and Eccentricity

“Profuse strains of unpremeditated art.”
                A rock is a perfect metaphor, an allegory in volume. When placed it’s sculptural limits beget a kind of artistic proposition — and when considered with reduced anthropomorphism and ungeologically — produce a ready-made analog to the causation and bounds of our attempts at the understanding of all things.

Here the sculptor has made no concessions; no attempts to curry favor with curators or collectors — pieces wholly outside discourse. And if pressed for an affiliate movement for these “sculptures” (i.e. Cubism, Mannerism, etc.)… perhaps Monism or Cosmogonism? Definitely not Conceptualism or Pataphysics — Actualism?

The analog? Well for sure it is 1:1. Weird; yes — a knot to be admired for it’s curves — not for untying. An emergent surface as thick as it’s mass. 
Were it possible for the instances of our minds or world events to be mapped and dimensionally materialized, something similar to a rock would appear — areas of smoothness yielding to pockmarked particularities, density shifts and feathered explosions. What really is the shape of a boom town? A pilgrim’s journey? A section of jungle mayhem? A boring era? The silhouette of a father’s cold slap? The contours of a brief, intense friendship? Comfortably we perceive all of these things as ready to be integrated into ledgers or novels or timelines; but really they are queer crags and striations of unimaginable idiosyncrasy.

So yes, the reflective, reasonable yield of our mind has much symmetry (computation, cataloguing, narrativizing, etc.) but it’s actual shape is no shape, but unfolding chaos and singularity visible only to our particular time-scale. Our species-wide symmetries and quantizations are basically improvisations white-labeled onto directionless infinitude attempting the constant creation of navigable Dimension.

So, look intimately at a rock, walk around it, get up close to it, savor it’s complexion and composition as you would any painting or temple and see it as the faultless mirror that it is — a truly perfect sculpture.

We live our lives made up of a great quantity of isolated instants. So as to be lost at the heart of a multitude of things. (From the Double Dream of Spring, 1970.)

  1. Gavrilo Princip’s last grocery list written
  2. The time that alligator ate that fish
  3. When the Yongzheng Emperor found that weird dust bunny under his throne
  4. The great earthquake of Alexandria
  1. The invention of expectation in literature
  2. When the heaviest cacao fruit fell in Takalik Abaj
  3. Animesh eats his first Fly Agaric mushroom