Patrick Killoran’s Insight consists of a t-shirt with a small hole made from a punched metal eyelet. The hole acts as a lens projecting an image onto the wearer’s torso. To use, pull out the neck, look down and point the hole towards a light source. Remember the image is faint and upside down.
Fast approaching its 20-year anniversary, Insight is a classic work of Killoran’s. In 1997, it reflected his interest in how mass production and consumerism affect art making: Contemporary life is subsumed into commodities. Each of these commodities finds its place within a larger matrix of products that are not designed for a singular person but for an imagined one. Despite the appearance of choice in capitalism, consumer participation tends to be one-directional and uniform.
Killoran’s work wrestles with the artist’s status within this system. It focuses on the tension between intended participation within capitalism and alternate strategies of unintended and, at times, unwelcome insertions into that system. This piece is simultaneously an object and a prompt to participate in and experience an artwork. Overturning the expectation that the artist’s role is to tell the audience what to see, Insight suggests a new condition through which the wearer produce their own images and turn their bodies into a component of the artwork.
As of July 2015, The Thing Quarterly has distributed this artwork on the artist’s behalf.
- PATRICK KILLORAN
Since Insight’s debut at Sculpture Center in the show Ten Days in October curated by Matt Freedman, it has been featured in numerous exhibitions such as Every Day the 1998 Biennale of Sydney, The Lo-Fi Show at Catalyst Arts in Belfast, Patter Language at Tufts University Art Gallery, Moonlighting at Hosfelt Gallery in New York City and in Killoran’s solo exhibition Slightly Touched at Mills College Art Museum. Patrick Killoran has also completed projects at PS1 MOMA, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Ikon Gallery, the Mori Museum and Battersea Art Center. His project Immergence has been on long-term view at Hyde Park Art Center since 2010. He has received fellowships from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University in 2010, from the Department of Fine Arts at George Washington University in 2013 and from the Rapid Design Pivot at University of Texas Austin in 2014. Patrick Killoran has taught at CalArts, Northwestern University and has been a Visiting Critic at Yale University School of Art since 2012. In 2014, Killoran was included in the exhibition The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else at the Witte de With in Rotterdam and had solo exhibitions at Samuel Freeman Gallery in Los Angeles and The Bindery Projects in Saint Paul. In 2015, his solo exhibition Exeunt Angels opened at Studio 10 in Brooklyn. Patrick Killoran lives and works in New York City.