Nicholas Mangan applies a documentary approach to reflect on the interconnected histories of colonialism, ecological disaster and consumer culture, addressing these issues through a multi-disciplinary practice.
For Brilliant Errors, Mangan presents a new series of photographs and collages stemming from his ambitious recent installation work, Ancients Lights* . These works dramatically exemplify his artistic process to excavate imagery and unearth connections.
Ancient Lights explores the suns’ potential, and it’s power to disrupt human actions. There is a surprising poetry and richness in the imagery that comprises both sourced and filmed material from multiple sources; NASA data, currency fluctuations, human sacrifice, mythology and the solar cycle itself. From the patterns of hieroglyphic markings and Tree Ring notations to the bright glow of the molten salt heat storage and the meditative scenes of the concentric mirrors of the Germasolar Thermosolar Plant in Southern Spain, a dramatic and considered aesthetic prevails.
Mangan’s new collages are assembled on cork boards which act as the site of investigation into the relationship between energy and social transformation, where a montage of found imagery and his own photographs are juxtaposed under the foreboding and smoldering orange tinted perspex. The artists hand is featured repeatedly, caught in the frame as he photographically documents the images he has located. It is the presence of his hands clasping imagery and the push pins which are ultimately employed to position them, that illustrates the artists unrelenting desire to reveal and unravel both the physical and conceptual power of the sun and it’s consequential affects on culture, technology, and economy.
*Ancient Lights, was first shown at London’s Chisenhale Gallery, 2015 and was co-commission with Artspace Sydney where it exhibited late 2015.
Mangan has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. In 2016 he will present a major survey exhibition at MUMA, Melbourne and the IMA. His recent major installation Other Currents was presented at Artspace, Sydney, 2015 and Ancient Lights at Chisenhale Gallery, London in 2015. Other solo exhibitions include: Some Kinds of Duration, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2012; Nauru, notes from a cretaceous world, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; and Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009. Selected group exhibitions: Riddle of the Burial Grounds, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 2015; Rocks, Stones and Dust, University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto, 2015; Art in the Age of…, Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2015; and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2014. He participated in the 2015 New Museum Triennial: Surround Audience, New York; 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, 2013; and the 13th Istanbul Biennial, 2013.
Mangan has been awarded numerous international residencies, including Recollets Artist Residency, Paris, 2011 and Australia Council’s New York Green Street Residency, 2006.