new-york

Willie Doherty

Alexander and Bonin

A quick reader of Willie Doherty’s recent photographs and video might think of film noir, with its dark palette, its tensions and secrets, and its hint of violence, promised or past. But the story is drained and de-peopled, and has no plot, or no plot but that an American viewer might supply from knowledge gained outside Doherty’s work. There are holes in some white-painted metal, and blots of rust have formed around them, suggesting, maybe, a vernacular Clyfford Still. Many people in Northern Ireland, where these images were made, might recognize such shapes, but in case we’re unfamiliar with recent Irish history Doherty writes a blunt title: Bullet Holes.

Other titles are equally constructive. A red parked car becomes Suspicious Vehicle; a shot of a country road is called At the Border 1 (Walking towards a Military Checkpoint). The information sets a mood, but the checkpoint itself,

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