“Only When I Laugh”
“When does it hurt ?... Only when I laugh”.
Only when I laugh takes it's name from the 1979 TV sitcom set in a hospital ward. The programme followed the exploits of long term hypochondriac patients enabled in their malaise by a system which both tolerates and oppresses them.
These new works by the artist Niamh Davis explore multiple approaches to this question. During her digital residency at the Fire Station Dublin earlier this year Niamh set up a series of short minimal vignettes based purely on an encounter between the artist herself and the camera. In this situation artistic production is reduced to it's barest form, a series of personas act out jovial expressions pushed to an extreme, externalising inner states and giving form to contradiction.
In one work the artist dressed in a party hat comically uses absurd gestures to communicate with footage and sounds of Noc the beluga whale, Noc rose to fame with his ability to approximate the sound of a human voice. However his pleas for help from his captors remain unanswered.
Singing the theme tune to the TV sitcom Niamh leaves us with the refrain
I am H.A.P.P.Y I know I am, I'm sure I am, I'm H.A.P.P.Y
/// With thanks to Fire Station Artists Studios and Stephen Dunne. \\\