Aidan McNeillage

Any Body Suspended in Space Will Remain in Space Until Made Aware of its Situation

1676 1116 Image Front
“Without this momentary openness when you don’t know who is in power, I mean chaos in this sense where those in power are really well in a situation where ... in Tom & Jerry cartoons you have often a scene where a cat walks ... over the precipice and (has) nothing beneath its feet but it doesn’t yet fall down. When it looks down and sees that it has no ground under its feet, it falls down. Those in power must find themselves in such a situation before they can fall down.”
— Slavoj Žižek

'Any Body Suspended in Space Will Remain in Space Until Made Aware of its Situation' is a series of sculptures based on animation frames known as ‘smears’: brief moments in which supposedly innocent or pure cultural icons are distorted and deformed, unexpected and at times grotesque, yet still equally real and true representations of said characters.

In a year marked by a myriad of high profile sexual assault scandals and celebrity suicides, this material seems all the more potent. There are moments in which Bugs Bunny has six eyes and fourteen teeth, in the same way there are moments in which someone as culturally beloved as Morgan Freeman behaves in an extremely disturbing and predatory way. 


The series title is taken from Mark O’Donnell’s first law of cartoon motion, based on moments in which a character runs over the edge of a precipice without falling, gravity only acting on them when they look down and notice the great chasm beneath their feet. It relates to power, to the idea that those in power have the propensity to lose touch with reality yet are still able to function despite this delusion; that is until an outside force reflects this discrepancy back upon them and their true position becomes clear.

Pictured With Honor
Work pictured with painting by Honor Hamlet (2018)

The project for me is about perception and image discrepancy. When an unexpected truth is revealed, how readily will audiences bracket their awareness of this in order to continue to engage with the previously understood (fantasy) representation? Where does the destruction of the hyper-real celebrity image that many strive for leave young people culturally?

On a more personal level, how do we define our conceptions of self when faced with our greatest failings?


Related Artists