’96 Tears’ (installation view) Paul Conneally, Scaffold Gallery, Manchester, 2016
’96 Tears’ is a piece in response to the question ‘Where do our morals come from?’ for the Scaffold Gallery show ‘The Great Unanswered Vol III’.
It consists of 96 screenshots from the artists iPhone of photographs tagged #moral on the social media site Instagram – the 96 ‘most recent’ posts tagged #moral. These were then each directly colour laser printed on a Xerox photocopier at A4 size, put in an envelope and sent to Will Marshall with some emailed suggestions about how they might me exhibited with the final decision left to him and colleagues at Scaffold. The result is a triptych of boards each with 32 tears pasted to them, the boards leant against the gallery walls rather than hung directly and flat to the walls.
The sound you should carry in your head or better still sing or hum as you view and interact with the work is the song ’96 Tears’ by Question Mark and the Mysterians (1966). If you don’t know the song here it is:
In an age where many including the artist spend hours viewing and interacting with screen based media we might consider to what extent the internet now informs our morals.
’96 Tears’ takes images found in the digitally coded world and returns them to the chemically coded world. The images are time coded and might also be seen as a portrait of the artist as he sat on his sofa watching TV, searching Instagram on his iPhone at the same time for the most recent posts tagged #moral.
The passing on physically of the images through the postal system rather than by email or digital dropbox to Will Marshall, the curator at Scaffold Gallery, a gallery which itself has no permanent physical presence is an essential component of the work including the ‘link and shift’ inherent with the freedom given to Will to exhibit the works in a way that he felt best fitted the space, a space that was initially not decided when the work was first envisaged.
’96 Tears’ (detail) – Paul Conneally, Scaffold Gallery, Manchester, 2016
All photographs are by Scaffold Gallery 2016