Garret Phelan

mother's tankstation | Dublin

Garrett Phelan is an avid birdwatcher, and his recent exhibition, “The Last Broadcast Revelations,” drew on both folklore and ornithology in its depiction of the mynah bird as a prophet. Noting that the mynah has the capacity to go beyond mere imitation of human speech to create new sentence constructions, Phelan explored the possibility that it could also predict the future. As the show demonstrated, much of Phelan’s current work integrates aspects of personal experience with esoteric research into history or natural science, paralleling the practices of various artists in the recent Tate Triennial, such as Marcus Coates, Olivia Plender, and Lindsay Seers. Unlike some contemporaries, however, Phelan is animated by methodology as well as mythology; his interest in the mynah forms part of a systematic, ongoing inquiry into the reception and production of information. Images of the bird (

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